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Holocaust Speaker Series: Anneliese Yosafat
April 26, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
The Holocaust Speaker Series, hosted every Wednesday at 11 a.m., features Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors sharing stories of life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The series is sponsored by Margaret & Michael Valentine. This week’s speakers are Anneliese Yosafat & Debbie Lempert.
Anneliese was born in Leipzig, Germany, in 1937. After receiving a deportation notice on September 18, 1942, her family went into hiding. Only able to take a few personal items so as not to look suspicious as they traveled, Anneliese took her favorite doll and her mother’s baby spoon with her. Over the course of the war, the family would hide with 13 different families in various locations. They took on false identities and had false papers; Anneliese’s name was now Annie Frieherr (Freeman). After one of their hiding places was bombed, the family fled to Bludenz, Austria and began passing themselves of as Christians, hiding in plain sight. Anneliese’s father Walter, using the false name Kurt, invented a story that they were Christians from Mannheim who had lost all their identification papers in a recent bombing. Because of their false identification papers, Walter got a job with the local government from September 1944 through the end of the war. In 1946, the family revealed their Jewish identities. The town was not pleased that they had been fooled and local clergy urged them to leave. The family came to the United States in 1950.
During this special presentation, Anneliese will be accompanied by her daughter, Debbie Lempert.