General

School visits 2020

It's that time of the year... Eighth-graders learn about the Holocaust in the spring, and I find myself hopping from school to school. Yesterday, my mother and I spoke at Hubble Middle School in Warrenville, IL. We have had the privilege of presenting to Hubble students for the last three years. Thanks to librarian Kristin Diaz for her determination in educating students on this important topic.

Video conferencing with a Basel book club

Yesterday, my mother and I video conferenced with a book club in Basel. Amazed by the technology, Mom turned to me in the middle of our conversation and asked: "Are we really talking to a book club in Basel, Switzerland?!?" When she came to this country, she couldn't call her parents -- who had the first phone in her village, Stockstadt -- because the lines were unreliable and expensive. Some ...

Living with her past

Students have changed my mother. At school speeches, they have listened to her story of fleeing Nazi Germany at 12 all by herself. They have asked her tough questions: What did you do? Why do you blame yourself? How could you think your parents didn't love you? They have born witness and have helped her to live more comfortably with her past.

FSC presents at the Woodstock Opera House in Woodstock IL

Last Thursday, as part of the Woodstock Fine Arts Association Creative Living Series, award-winning author Fern Schumer Chapman captivated the audience with an inspiring presentation. Fern shared the emotional story of her mother, Edith Westerfeld, who painfully fled Nazi Germany in 1938 and journeyed to America as an unaccompanied minor refugee. Fern then described Edith’s return to her small German hometown in 2014 to witness the installation of a memorial ...

Chicago Tribune reports on author’s school visit

https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/deerfield/news/ct-dfr-author-visit-schumer-chapman-tl-1220-story.html?fbclid=IwAR34MeI6MacOTtmx-zNMtoSl-LZRVj0x4IHKdudSF_DTNrzQgBy-wxiZ3KU

Great to visit with Deerfield High School students who read IS IT NIGHT OR DAY?

Presentation at Deerfield High School. Students read IS IT NIGHT OR DAY? and we discussed how the book resonates with today's issues -- restrictive immigration, unaccompanied minors, and anti-Semitism. Thanks to English teacher Stephanie Martin for organizing the event.

CNN poll finds one-third of Europeans know little about Holocaust

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/27/opinions/anti-semitism-holocaust-education-intl/index.html?no-st=1543583357&fbclid=IwAR2W9gLlBv20M5NVPyd6rvHwn3EFvg0IvBctjOEeQWc0KCpWWuPZ4T-pFlc

Found in my mother’s basement

Another remarkable find from the archeological dig in my mother's basement -- her German family's book of Hebrew prayers that was published in 1872. My great-grandfather wrote his name on the first page, Maier Westerfeld; the year, 1906; and the name of the town, Stockstadt. My mother remembers her parents stuffing the little book in her suitcase just before she left Germany for America in 1938.

New and Topical: THREE STARS IN THE NIGHT SKY

At the age of 12, Gerda Katz fled Nazi Germany and came to America all by herself. Decades before the label gained recognition, she became what's now know as an "unaccompanied minor." Gerda's story of family separation reflects the dislocating trauma, culture shock, and excruciating loneliness many unaccompanied minor immigrants experience. As Gerda becomes an American, she never stops longing to be reunited with her family. Three Stars in the ...
Scroll to Top