Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.


November 9, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Event Navigation

Click HERE for the RECORDING!

Author: Joel Shawn Poremba

My Name is Staszek Surdel: The Impossible Holocaust Survival of Nathan Poremba


This mem­oir traces the Holo­caust through the eyes of young Nathan Porem­ba and exam­ines the dif­fi­cult emo­tion­al and phys­i­cal choic­es he made to survive.

On Sep­tem­ber 121939 when he was just nine years old, Nathan’s father was mur­dered by the Wehrma­cht in his home­town, Wielicz­ka, locat­ed in South­ern Poland. On this day, Nathan’s child­hood end­ed and adult­hood was invol­un­tar­i­ly thrust upon him.

Alone and with­out help for most of the Holo­caust, Nathan Poremba’s six-year sur­vival neces­si­tat­ed avoid­ing detec­tion while main­tain­ing an unflinch­ing will to live despite the threats that enveloped his every move. For three years, Nathan test­ed his bound­aries, unwill­ing to wear the com­pul­so­ry Star of David arm­band, blend­ed into the pop­u­la­tion in order to buy food for the fam­i­ly. He lat­er snuck in and out of three ghet­tos before com­ing across false papers bear­ing the name ​Staszek Surdel”.

His unmatched resilience is a tes­ta­ment to his will to live. Through­out, Nathan nev­er acqui­esced to anti­semitism and he con­sis­tent­ly resist­ed his tor­men­tors as his father had before the Holocaust.

Joel is the son of Holo­caust sur­vivor Nathan Porem­ba. Stunned after hear­ing his father give his tes­ti­mo­ny to the Shoah Foun­da­tion in 1998, it took 21 years and a trip to Israel for Joel to watch his father’s video tes­ti­mo­ny. Busi­ness attor­ney; grad­u­ate of West­ern State Uni­ver­si­ty, Col­lege of Law and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, San Diego.

Photo of Joel S. Poremba



November 9, 2022
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category: