On March 6, 2015 Friday at 2:00PM authors Dr. Henry Oster and Dexter Ford
came to CSUN to give a talk about their amazing memoir of Oster's fight for survival during WWII while captive in a concentration camp of horrors of called Buchenwald.
Their recently published book, The Kindness of the Hangman (Higgins Bay Press, 2014), tells Oster's gripping tale of the 2,011 Jews who were rounded up by the Gestapo and deported from Cologne, Germany. Henry is the only one still alive to tell their story. Dr. Oster and Dexter Ford spoke and signed copies of their book. It is available for purchase on Amazon and at The Kindness of the Hangman
Click here to see the recent Los Angeles Times article on Dr. Oster.
Attended by approximately a hundred fascinated listeners, Oster held the audience captive with his wrenching tale.
He stood for 70 minutes and spoke without any notes. His tone was conversational, informative, concise, to the point, and tinged with sardonic humor....the CSUN audience was spell bound.
The Q&A following afforded discussion with Ford regarding the challenge of assembling hundreds of hours of video recorded interviews into a historical, personal, engaging, and photograph filled account of Oster's life. Ford has been a contributing editor to the New York times and affirmed that, although he is a bit younger, he now knows how to write in the voice of a person of Oster's ilk in his mid-eighties. The challenge of rendering Oster's voice and the tortuous journey within a landscape of brutal survival culminating in rescue, hope, arrival in a new land, creating a new identity, rebuilding lost family ties, and becoming an accomplished Beverly Hills based optometrist was achieved over a writing period of seven years. One can barely imagine how daunting a project this was for both men.
The utmost gratitude and appreciation to these two incredible human beings for sharing what Ford describes as a "gripping, never-before-written account of one lost German boy, totally alone, clawing to survive in the tidal wave of Nazi genocide."
We were all humbled, informed, edified, privileged, and awed by this experience.