DMU to honor Holocaust survivor Peter Pintus, posthumously, Saturday

May 25, 2010 —

Peter Pintus worked to make sure the Holocaust was never forgotten and its lessons lived on.

(Des Moines, IA) – Des Moines University (DMU) students, staff and faculty have been honored multiple times with presentations by Des Moines’ Peter Pintus, a Holocaust survivor. Pintus survived the horrors of the Holocaust and used his amazing life experiences to teach lessons of tolerance, understanding and forgiveness.  A popular speaker, Pintus addressed students and faculty at DMU for several years at the annual Holocaust remembrance.

In honor of Pintus’ message, Des Moines University’s Interim President Stephen S. Dengle, M.B.A., was to confer an honorary doctor of humane letters degree upon him at DMU’s commencement exercises on Saturday, May 29, at 10 a.m. at the Polk County Convention Complex, 501 Grand Ave. Pintus died unexpectedly May 24. The honorary degree will be awarded posthumously Saturday and delivered to his family.

“We are all saddened by Peter’s sudden passing. His humanity and wisdom will endure for years to come,” said Dengle. “Many who met him were enlightened and humbled by his spirit.”

A resident of Des Moines and assistant to the rabbi at Temple B’nai Jeshurun, Pintus was well-known and respected. The public is invited to a memorial service Friday, May 28, at 2 p.m. at the Temple B’Nai Jeshurun, 5101 Grand Ave. in Des Moines.

Pintus’ narrative of his Holocaust experiences is part of the “Testimony to Tolerance” collection at the Des Moines Public Library.  He was also a member of DMU’s Institutional Review Board and served on the board of the Des Moines Area Religious Council.  He was honored by Governor Chet Culver in August 2009 as an “Outstanding Iowan.”

466 degrees will be conferred at DMU’s commencement service and the commencement speaker, Thomas J. Vilsack, J.D., the 30th secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree.

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Des Moines University (DMU) is the only private medical school in Iowa, offering graduate-level, professional degree programs in osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, biomedical sciences, anatomy, health care administration and public health. Founded in 1898, the institution offers superior academics in a collaborative environment. DMU students' pass rate on national examinations and board certifications is consistently higher than the national average and the rates at similar institutions.

Courtney Tompkins has been part of the DMU marketing team since Nov. 2005 and loves promoting a school she believes in so thoroughly. Proud daughter and patient of DMU alumni, Courtney knows, first-hand, that Des Moines University is doing a world of good. A fan of all outdoor festivals, fruity drinks and nearly all edibles, she has a hard time narrowing down her list of favorite places to go and things to do but lists the Iowa State Fair as an all-time fave. She loves her 8-minute commute to DMU from Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. She and husband Tyler are owned by three large dogs, Tonka, Tucker and Tank.


  • Anonymous

    I was introduced to Peter a few months ago in a dark moment of my life. Although I only got to know him for a very brief period of time – he gave my heart peace, console, and comfort. I instantly felt comfort in his wisdom and character. Peter was, and is, someone I will never forget.

    I love you Peter. I will never forget you.

  • http://none lanny wenck

    I was in powell treatment center for alcoholisam in 1986. Peter was the one who helped me thru my personal problems at that time.I have not had a drink of alcohol since dec. 14th 1986 Thank you Peter AND Thanks to the one and only higher power which is GOD PS ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD IN YOUR HEART