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Festival of Ideas highlights OneBook Conversations event

Friday, April 11, 2008

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Media Contact: Sue Stevens

ARLINGTON - The University of Texas at Arlington 2007-08 Festival of Ideas continues with a “Conversations” event titled “My Mother’s Story: Hiding a Jewish Friend from the Nazis.” The presenter is Professor Klaus Driessen, who is a German lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages.

Driessen's mother was honored by the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and at the Yad Vashim memorial in Israel as a "Righteous Gentile Among Nations." She was recognized for hiding a Jewish woman in her apartment in Vienna for four years during World War II at the risk of her own life. In Driessen’s lecture, he will tell his mother’s story.

The event begins at noon Friday, April 25, in the sixth floor parlor at the UT Arlington Central Library, 702 Planetarium Place. The lecture will include opportunities for audience questions and general discussion. There is no charge to attend this lecture, and reservations are not required. Contact Dr. Laurin Porter at or visit for more information. .

Driessen was born in the small Bavarian town of Altenmarkt an der Alz, Germany, near München. He immigrated to the United States in 1956 and became a naturalized citizen in 1966. He has donated more than 450 documents, pictures and other items of historical significance to the Holocaust museums in Dallas and Washington, D.C.

The Festival of Ideas, now in its third year, is a program focused on special events produced on campus. Sponsored by UT Arlington alumnus Mustaque Ahmed and the College of Liberal Arts, the Festival of Ideas serves to stimulate conversation, encourage questions, and facilitate rapport between event presenters and viewers/participants.

“Conversations” is a program designed to cut across the boundaries of departments and colleges, faculty, students, and staff in order to unite the University and enrich the intellectual life of its members. Contact Natalie Gaupp, Festival of Ideas Coordinator, at for more information.


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.