Family Matters

Hi there. My name is Abigail Sterne and I’m a distant relative living in the UK. My great grandfather was Kamil Lichtenstern…. I have recently been translating the diary of Oskar Lichtenstern which has been in the possession of my Great Aunt Gertrude Levitt, who is the youngest daughter of Kamil, and a first cousinContinue reading “Family Matters”

Yom HaShoah 2018

Over a year ago a classmate from Loomis-Chaffee, Jim Rice, invited me to come speak at his congregation. This week that invitation came to fruition as I spent three days at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, MI. My visit started with a lovely lunch and a tour of the building. Temple Beth El isContinue reading “Yom HaShoah 2018”

Captured Time

I received a delightful postcard from Europe yesterday. One of my primary sources is a woman who, like my mother, was also in Westerbork as a child. She had previously written and thanked me for sending her a copy of Tutti’s Promise. This time she was writing to tell me what she thought of it.Continue reading “Captured Time”

Actions Speak Louder

I went to two Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) events in April and I noticed that different communities handle this important day in different ways. Each has a different tone and audience but essentially accomplishes the same thing. I watched University of New Haven students do a short performance of Pavel Friedmann’s poem Butterfly. IContinue reading “Actions Speak Louder”

Feeling the Bern*

One of the mysteries of my family’s Holocaust survival is their passport from Paraguay. According to my mother, that passport saved her father from a transport to Auschwitz. We have a copy of the document along with a letter of notarization stating that it is real. The mystery here isn’t that the passport exists, butContinue reading “Feeling the Bern*”

Mau and Gerty

Erik Schumacher’s new book, “Mau and Gerty: A Jewish Love Story Between Migrations and World Wars” is out. I heard about it from my friend Myriam. I wanted to read it immediately. It tells the story of a couple, Mau Hanemann and Gerty Kelemen. Erik was inspired to write the book after one of theContinue reading “Mau and Gerty”

Lost But Not Forgotten

I recently lost two of my sources. Henny’s husband sent me an email notifying me of her passing in November, and then Edith’s son sent an email of her death in January. I did not know either of these women personally, but they both have been instrumental in my research. Through the wonder of theContinue reading “Lost But Not Forgotten”

Reading of the 102,000 Names

Right now, in a small forgotten corner of The Netherlands, people are gathering and reading the names of the 102,000 people who were deported from Holland and murdered at the hands of the Nazis. Please spend a few minutes on the live stream and listen. You don’t have to understand Dutch to appreciate the enormityContinue reading “Reading of the 102,000 Names”