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story.lead_photo.caption Gunther Skaletz signs a copy of his book, "Life on Both Sides of the Wall," a re-telling of his story of surviving an internment at Auschwitz concentration camp. (Submitted photo)

A survivor of WWII events in Poland and Germany will be the guest speaker May 14 at the Moniteau County Library.

Gunther Skaletz, 91, has been invited by the Friends of the Library to share his story of survival and overcoming odds with those attending the library's quarterly "Speakers' Showcase."

The Speakers' Showcase will be held at 7 p.m. in the second floor Heyssel Hall at the library.

Skaletz's story includes his apprenticeship at a fine hotel in Poland that resulted in his internment at the Auschwitz concentration camp. His release led to travels and work through war-torn Poland and Germany.

During a forced stint in the German army, Gunther was taken as a prisoner of war by the Russians. After being loaded on a train taking him to Siberia, he was able to escape, walk for weeks and finally get back to West Germany.

Today, Gunther lives at Lake of the Ozarks and shares his story with many schools, churches and organizations. He attributes his survival and success to his mother's advice: "Never forget to pray. Keep your faith, your courage and never give up."

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