At age 92, U.S. Army veteran Alan Moskin travels the country to speak about his experience as a World War II infantry combat soldier who participated in the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp. He shared his compelling story with the Blair community at Society of Skeptics in the Chiang Center for Innovation and Collaboration.
An Englewood, New Jersey, native, Mr. Moskin was drafted into the Army at age 18 in 1944. He served in the European theatre for the next two years with the 66th Infantry, 71st Division, part of General George Patton’s 3rd Army. Mr. Moskin fought in France, Germany and Austria, and on May 4, 1945, three days before the war’s end, his company participated in the liberation of the Gunskirchen concentration camp. “What we saw there was so horrific,” he said in a recent interview with the Jewish Standard.
Mr. Moskin remained in Europe as part of the U.S. Army of Occupation until 1946, after which he returned to the States, completed his undergraduate degree at Syracuse University and continued on to New York University Law School. He received his JD in 1951, and his career included more than 20 years as a civil trial attorney as well as work in the private business sector until his 1991 retirement.
Having kept his wartime experience to himself for 50 years, Mr. Moskin began speaking publicly about it in 1996, after his local Holocaust museum asked him to share his story. He has since visited more than 100 middle schools, high schools and colleges across the country, giving witness to the grim and horrific reality of the Holocaust and urging students to work to overcome hate, prejudice and bigotry. Mr. Moskin has recorded videos for the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City and the Holocaust Museum and Study Center in Suffern, New York, and appeared in the PBS documentary “G.I. Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II.”
The History of Skeptics
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.
The program was an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon. ’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please click here.