POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Join Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and Vassar alumna Lucinda Franks, and her husband, longtime New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, as they discuss "Our Fathers' Untold Stories." This candid conversation about the secret lives their fathers led during the Holocaust will take place on Sunday, May 6, at 4:30 p.m., in the Students' Building second floor auditorium. Rabbi Daniel Polish of Congregation Shir Chadash of the Hudson Valley will moderate. This event is free and open to the public.
Franks' most recent work, My Father's Secret War (2007), is an account of her father's time with U.S. Naval Intelligence as an undercover Nazi officer, including his arrival at the Ohrdruf concentration camp, a satellite of the Buchenwald death camp and the first concentration camp liberated by the Allies. Upon its release, My Father's Secret War was met with overwhelming critical acclaim. Joyce Carol Oates called the book "one of the most original memoirs of our time … and moves with the dramatic and moral urgency of a Graham Greene novel," while Booklist said the book was "beautifully written, packed with raw emotion, deep affection, and newfound, unexpected respect for a man his daughter hardly knew until it was almost too late."
The first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, Franks has written for The New York Times and contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, Travel and Leisure, People, and New York, among other publications. Franks is also the author of several books, including Waiting Out a War (1974), and Wild Apples (1993).
[Left: Robert Morgenthau] Morgenthau's father, Henry Morgenthau, served as Treasury Secretary for his long-time friend Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II. In January 1944, Morgenthau persuaded Roosevelt to allow the creation of a War Refugee Board in the Treasury Department, which allowed nearly two hundred thousand Jews to enter the U.S. in 1944 and 1945.
"Told together, the stories told by Franks and Morgenthau remind us of the profound effect the Holocaust had not only on the Jews of the world and on America as a nation, but the way it affected the lives of so many millions of individuals," said Polish. "They bring to life one of the most significant moments of the last century, a sorrowful milestone of the human journey."
This event is sponsored by the Office of International Services, the Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College, and Congregation Shir Chadash of the Hudson Valley. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.