William Samelson, Ph.D.
Author of Sephardic Legacy


William Samelson is Professor Emeritus, Holocaust & Genocide Studies, English as a Second Language, Foreign Languages of the University of Texas in Austin.

Dr. Samelson was born in Poland and lived there until the age of eleven when he was interned in various Nazi labor and concentration camps throughout Poland and Germany. He was a member of the partisans at the age of thirteen. Captured by the Nazis, he was taken to Buchenwald Concentration Camp where he spent three and a half years. He was liberated by the U.S. Army in April 1945, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1948.

Dr. Samelson holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and has taught at Kent State University, The University of Illinois at Urbana and the University of Texas at Austin. He is Visiting Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Texas in San Antonio and Trinity University. Dr. Samelson has written extensively on the Holocaust and lectured widely on a variety of topics relating to it.

Among his many publications are All Lie in Wait, One Bridge to Life, Warning and Hope and a series of six volumes of English as a Second Language texts, which have undergone numerous editions.

The Federal Republic of Germany honored Dr. Samelson for his contributions to German letters. He served as ESL Consultant in the Dominican Republic. His texts are used in colleges and universities throughout the world. He is presently consultant and translator at the Mazal Holocaust Library and a board member of The Holocaust History Project, Inc. He is Contributing Editor of The Voice of Piotrkow Survivors.

Dr. Samelson was awarded the Americanism Medal by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. He was awarded the Piper Professorship as the outstanding teacher of Texas colleges and Universities. He has been honored with an Honorary Citizenship of Texas and appointed Admiral of the Texas Navy by the Texas Legislature and Governor John Connally. He is listed in numerous publications and his credits include: “The Directory of American Scholars’ Man of Achievement Award” as well as many “Who’s Who” publications.

Dr. Samelson has lectured and conducted many discussion/workshops throughout the U.S. and in numerous foreign countries.

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