12-16-11: Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust
Dr. Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, a biology professor at University of Maryland Baltimore County, was coping with a task that often falls to adult children as their parents’ health fails–she was cleaning out her parents’ house in Columbia, preparing to put it up for sale–when she found scores letters dating back to World War II. And then, scores more. Most were handwritten, in German, and Dr. Ostrand-Rosenberg recognized on them the names of her grandmother, her great-aunt, and various other relatives. But her mother, Dr. Marianne Ostrand, had Alzheimer’s disease, and couldn’t answer her questions.
Eventually, Dr. Ostrand-Rosenberg turned to a colleague at UMBC: Dr. Rebecca Boehling, professor of history and director of the Dresher Center for the Humanities. Dr. Boehling then collaborated with Dr. Uta Larkey, director of the German program at Goucher College and affiliate faculty member of the Judaic Studies program there.
From their collaboration has come an extraordinary history of a German Jewish family, a book titled Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust: A Jewish Family’s Untold Story, published by Cambridge University Press.
Today, Sheilah talks with Dr. Larkey and Dr. Boehling about a book that traces perseverance over persecution, a triumph of light over darkness.