Holocaust Memorial Day, commemorating the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945, was observed this week. From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, here is an oral history interview with Professor Emeritus of Art and Music Felix Bauer (1914-2006). The interview was conducted in 1992.
For some members of the Erskine community, the account may be familiar, but it is a fascinating story.
Bauer taught at Erskine College from 1946-79 and founded the school’s Art Exhibition Center.
The young professor came to Erskine by an unusual route, having fled Austria in 1938 to escape the Nazis. He entered the Dominican Republic in 1940, where he met and married Martha Mondschein.
Erskine President R.C. Grier made arrangements to provide visas for the couple after Bauer was recommended for a teaching post at Erskine.
The Bauers left the Dominican Republic and arrived in Due West in 1946 with their son, Boris. They later had a daughter, Linda, and both children graduated from Erskine College.
The exhibition center in the Bowie Arts Center is named in his honor. He received an honorary doctorate from Erskine in 1996.
The photo at top shows Felix Bauer in the Art Exhibition Center he founded. He directed the center from 1957-79 and again from 1982-83.