David Tuck will speak at Penn State Altoona at 6:30 p.m. on April 26, in the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts.
Tuck was born in Poland and raised by his Orthodox Jewish grandparents who insisted that he receive both a public and Hebrew education. He was 10 years old when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Within weeks, Tuck’s family was relocated to the Lodz ghetto. He spoke German well enough to work in the food ration office providing families with ration cards. Then in the spring of 1941, David was sent to a labor camp in Poland. Two years later, he was sent to another camp to construct an autobahn, finally ending up in Auschwitz in August 1943 where he worked in a sub-camp called Eintrachthütte, building anti-aircraft guns. In January 1945, Tuck was then relocated by train to Mauthausen in Austria, a brutal 370-mile trip over the course of four days. To survive, he scooped snow from the ground using a tin cup tied to his belt. He was subsequently sent to Güsen II, an underground factory to construct German aircraft. On May 5, 1945, the Americans liberated Güsen II.
Weighing just 78 pounds, Tuck spent the next several months recuperating in refugee camps before immigrating to the United States in 1950. For many years since, he has brought his story of survival and perseverance to students around the nation.
This program is free and open to the public. The event is hosted by the Penn State Altoona Center for Student and Civic Engagement and the History Department.