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Gail Wallen ’68 Helps Holocaust Survivors Share Their Stories

Gail Wallen poses for a portrait next to a sculpture entitled “The Learning Tree” by Joe A. Tyler in front of the Oro Valley Library in Tucson, AZ on March 25, 2020.

by James Jaskolka ’16

Philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” 

Gail Wallen ’68 has embraced that sentiment in nearly 20 years working with survivors of the Holocaust, the systematic persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime in World War II. As the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by American troops was observed in 2020, Wallen continues her work educating military personnel about that historic event by providing a platform for survivors to share their experiences. It’s appropriate work for an alumna who majored in history at Wilkes. Wallen, who is a staff chaplain at Banner – University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., has spent much of her life working with Holocaust survivors. 

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