On Writing

In Memory of Gerda Katz, my mom’s best friend on the ship in 1938

Five years ago today, my mother's best friend passed away. The two met on the ship in 1938 as they fled Nazi Germany to America. In 2011, eighth-graders reunited the two friends after a 72-year separation. The first time Gerda and Edith "talked," they said hello and then sobbed together. No words were necessary. Each felt the other was the only person who understood their deep uprooting and unbearable losses. ...

Another remarkable find in my mother’s old photo album!

Here, my mother's sister, Betty, (4th from left) is flanked by her German friends just before she fled Nazi Germany for America in 1937. In her writings, Betty described how she got her passport. “I was a wide-eyed fourteen-year-old, very much a country bumpkin. Everything was new and interesting. Life lay ahead of me and, if it were not for Hitler, things would have been fine. “But I knew I ...

Germans live uncomfortably with the houses once owned by Jewish families

In Germany, old homes are preserved and handed down from generation to generation. After the Holocaust, homes that belonged to Jewish families in Germany were abandoned or torn down. For decades, no one wanted to live in them and face what had happened to these families. Nazis stole my mother's home in Stockstadt am Rhein, which had been in the family for over 200 years. I tell part of this ...

Another remarkable photo from my mother’s old album!

Another remarkable photo find in my mother's old album! This one shows Mom's sister, Betty, who took mandolin lessons with a group of boys . When the Nazis came to power, her teacher terminated her lessons. Here's how I described the experience in IS IT NIGHT OR DAY? "But now, suddenly, we were filth, Jews polluting the village. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws cut us off completely, and after living ...

Remarkable find in my mother’s old photo album!

Last week, my 97-year-old mother found a remarkable photograph in an old album! It captures the group of unaccompanied minors she traveled with from Germany to America in March, 1938. Taken on the ship, my mother is in the bottom row, hands on her head to stop the sharp winds from blowing her hair in her face. Right next to her is her best friend on the ship, Gerda Katz. ...

New edition of IS IT NIGHT OR DAY with new cover and new Author’s Note

New edition of IS IT NIGHT OR DAY? with new cover and new Author's note. My mother's story of childhood immigration is more relevant than ever, as parents in our war-torn world are forced to rip their families apart and send their children away to safety. In the 1930s and 40s, Lutherans, Quakers, and Jewish groups organized a program that used cruise ships to rescue Jewish children in Nazi-occupied countries. ...

Today is the last chance to stream the new play, MOTHERLAND

For those who have seen the play, here is the REAL Countess's tea set! Today is the last day to see the new play, MOTHERLAND. It is streaming today, May 26, at 11:30, 2:00 and 7:30 CST. For tickets, go to: https://cwb42.booktix.com

Buy tickets now for the Zoom theatre production of “Motherland”

  Chicago Writers’ Bloc celebrates 30th Anniversary with Benefit and 2022 New Play Festival CHICAGO - Chicago Writers’ Bloc announced that it will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with a benefit and staged readings of 10 new works presented as part of its 2022 New Plays Festival, running May 23 to June 14 at the Raven Theater, 6157 N. Clark St. in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. The festival will launch with a ...

Tickets are now available for the Zoom production of Motherland, the play

I lived it, and now I am re-living it on the "stage". You can, too! :) Actors Diane Dorsey and Suzy Brack (below) are Edith and Fern in the play. Tickets are now available for the Zoom production of Motherland. https://cwb42.booktix.com Diane Dorsey is cast as Edith (my mother) and Suzy Brack will play me.

My mother’s beloved storks return to her hometown in Germany

For fans of MOTHERLAND and my mom, Edith Westerfeld Schumer… My dear German friend sent me these photos this morning. My mother's beloved storks have just returned to Stockstadt. When my mother was a child, she would say good-bye to the birds in the fall when they migrated to Africa. Every spring, she would wait for them to return. She could recognize some of the birds and she even named them. ...
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