The last living clerk-typist from the post-WWII Nuremberg Trials is coming to Charleston to talk about hearing first-hand from those who suffered unfathomable losses during the Holocaust, and from those who inflicted it.
Larry Tillemans, now in his mid-80s, will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Mount Pleasant. The event is open to the public, and tickets are $8.
Then an 18-year-old Army sergeant, Tillemans documented testimony from hundreds of victims and perpetrators that then was used to prosecute and, in some cases, execute leaders of the Third Reich.
"These are some of the worst stories known to man," says Steven Mandel, a Mount Pleasant resident who works with public television stations.
One station recently produced a film, "The Typist," which chronicles Tillemans' life and involvement in prosecuting Nazi war crimes. It was traumatic work that left him with his own lifelong wounds.
Tillemans lives in Minnesota where public television station KSMQ produced the film.
"He talks about what he saw and why it's important to remember," Mandel says.
For nine months, Tillemans recorded the stories of Nazis who committed some of history's worst crimes, as well as the stories of those who lost entire families in the horrors of Dachau and Nuremberg.
"We can't even fathom that today," Mandel says.
After grappling with the ordeal for years, Tillemans now has devoted himself to speaking at churches, community centers and synagogues, although mostly in the Midwest.
Chabad of Charleston and The Low Country is bringing Tillemans to town. On Friday, he also will speak to ROTC cadets at Wando High School.
"It's a rare opportunity," Mandel says. "His is a pretty devastating story."
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