On Germany

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.

Cast members for Motherland, the play

Diane Dorsey, known for "Road to Perdition," "Ghost Whisperer," and "Last Day," will play my mother, Edith. Suzy Brack, known for her work on "That Wasn't Supposed to Happen," "Market Value," and "Bachelors Grove," will play me, Fern. Chicago Writers Bloc and Perennial Theatre Chicago are hosting the table reading with lights and sound effects on September 21, 2020. The festival features new plays. Location will likely be the Piven ...

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 ...

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

Germany’s Sunday of the Dead

Today is Totensonntag in Germany -- The Sunday of the Dead, a religious holiday in the German Evangelical Church dedicated to the memory of those who have passed away. Each year, a friend and her son remember my family by visiting the stolpersteine memorial stones that were installed in front of the old family home in Stockstadt am Rhein. Here is the picture she sent me today.

Review of STUMBLING ON HISTORY

"This is a very good (and very important) book about a girl...who lost everything to war and had to start anew in America as a refugee in the 1940s, and her return to the land she once loved...I highly recommend this book for school libraries, public libraries, Holocaust Studies classrooms and resource rooms, and for personal collections. The issue of memory is a powerful one in Holocaust Studies and this ...

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.
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