Ohio Wesleyan Speaker to Discuss Mother’s Holocaust Experiences

Barbara Rylko-Bauer

Barbara Rylko-Bauer

DELAWARE, Ohio – Barbara Rylko-Bauer’s mother, Jadzia Rylko, survived three concentration camps and a 42-day death march during the Holocaust. On March 12, 2014, Rylko-Bauer published a book on her mother’s experiences, which will be the topic of an April 9 presentation at Ohio Wesleyan University.

The book follows Jadzia Rylko’s life before the war as a Catholic doctor in Poland, her 1944 arrest for suspected involvement with the resistance, her subsequent 15-month imprisonment, and her post-war experiences. After World War II, Rylko immigrated to Germany, where her daughter was born in 1950, and then to the United States, where socioeconomic factors forced her to become a practical nurse instead of reclaiming her career as a doctor.

Rylko-Bauer, a medical anthropologist, will discuss her research into her mother’s experiences and the history of the period at 7 p.m. April 9 in the Bayley Room of Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave., Delaware. The event is free and open to the public.

Her presentation is sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Sociology-Anthropology, which examines social and cultural diversity, inequality, and other issues such as poverty, crime, race relations, mental health, and changing gender roles.

In 1985, Rylko-Bauer received her doctorate in anthropology from the University of Kentucky. Her work focuses on medical and applied anthropology, social suffering, health and human rights, narrative analysis, and the Holocaust. She is an adjunct associate professor at Michigan State University. Previously, she served as a contributing editor for Anthropology News from 1991-1994 and as a book review editor for Medical Anthropology Quarterly from 1994-2000.

(Image courtesy of University of Oklahoma Press)

(Image courtesy of University of Oklahoma Press)

Her book, “A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps,” has been well-received by critics, including Gelya Frank, author of “Venus on Wheels: Two Decades of Dialogue on Disability, Biography, and Being Female in America.”

“Barbara Rylko-Bauer brings an anthropologist’s mind, eye, heart, and ear to the untold story of a young Polish physician ensnared as subject and accessory to the Nazi project of slave labor and mass murder,” Frank states.

Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health, co-authored “Global Health in Times of Violence” with Rylko-Bauer and writes of her mother’s story: “Through a mother and daughter’s incandescent collaboration, the rough stone of memory is tumbled and polished, emerging as a fiery gem.”

To learn more about Rylko-Bauer, see www.rylkobauer.com. For additional information about Ohio Wesleyan’s sociology-anthropology department, visit soan.owu.edu.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private, coed university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, minors, and concentrations, and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world practice. OWU’s 1,850 students represent 42 states and 37 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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