SQUIRREL IS ALIVE: A Holocaust Education Event

Jun 27, 2023

06:30 pm - 08:00 pm

323 Pearl Street
La Crosse, 54601

Event Website

(608) 782-3424

Join us for conversations and refreshments
Engage in a program at 7 pm by Holocaust educator Darryle Clott and Westby High School Teacher Dave Nelson with a O&A to follow. They will share the story of Mary Rostad, who after World War II moved to and lived in Houston, MN until she passed in 2011.

“Squirrel Is Alive is a charming memoir of a young Belgian resistance fighter whose exploits during the German occupation of her country were the stuff of legend. As a young woman, she served as a courier transferring information, arms, and ammunition between resistance groups, defying the Nazis and leading a daring and adventurous life. Her journey took her into the arms of a liberating American soldier and into small-town America where she worked as a nurse.”

– Michael Berenbaum, Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies and Director, Sigi Ziering Holocaust Institute

Mary Rostad was only sixteen years old when Nazis conquered her home city of Brussels in 1940. She joined the resistance movement, serving in Belgium and later France, as a courier of underground documents. Using a false ID and relying on a system of underground networks established by the resistance, she walked to France where she served as a medic and distributed clandestine newspapers.

Adopting the code name “Squirrel,” she walked over one thousand miles in frigid temperatures, far away from her home and her family to report on the movement of German troops.

After the war, she worked in counterintelligence in General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Frankfurt headquarters. She is the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

This heroic story challenges us to consider how we would act if faced with adversity.