NNV Member and Daughter of Holocaust Survivors Finds a Personal Connection to NNV Program

Stephanie Chong

Northwest Neighbors Village keeps members engaged and connected by providing a rich offering of social, cultural, and wellness programming. Earlier this week, NNV invited Dr. Suzanne Brown-Fleming to explore Catholics and Holocaust History, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Vatican Archives Initiative.

The presentation and group discussion were enlightening and sparked interest in bringing together Village members and volunteers who are family members of Holocaust survivors. NNV member Susan Lieberman felt a deep personal connection to the program and shares her experience and an invitation in the following message:

“I had two visceral reactions to hearing about this presentation. The first is the delight that we both shared the same names, as my maiden name was Susan Brown, changed from Susan Braun, when I was 4 years old so it wouldn't sound German.  The second is that I am the daughter of Holocaust survivors from Vienna, Austria, and am, therefore, strongly curious about that era, not only the role of the Nazis, but the Catholic Church as well.

My mother was 6 months pregnant with me when Hitler took over Vienna. My father had already been thrown out of work and was made to wash the toilets in a Nazi dormitory near their home.

The only way they could get to the U.S. was to be sponsored by a citizen here. Luckily, my uncle, the famous cellist, Emanuel Feuermann, had made it here after being thrown out of the Berlin Music Academy. Not a citizen, he had a pupil, a famous banker named Warburg, who agreed to sponsor them. I was born here 3 months later.

I tell this story in the hope that it may pique the interest of others in our NNV community to watch this amazing lecture. Even more, it would be great to bring together Village members and volunteers to meet each other and share our family stories.”

You can watch the recording of Dr. Fleming-Brown’s program here. NNV members and volunteers who are interested in Susan’s invitation to meet and share your story can let the office know at info@nnvdc.org or 202-935-6060.

My sincere thanks to Susan for sharing her personal story and encouraging others to come together to share and provide mutual support.  I am also grateful to NNV board member Jan Solomon for her tireless work on bringing interesting programming to our community through NNV’s Virtual Speaker Series.  Susan and Jan’s contributions - and the contributions of so many members and volunteers - are what make our Village a community!

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