Day of Learning Speakers

Dina was born in Amsterdam, Holland. She was sent into hiding in 1943 at fifteen years old. She moved to a town in the Netherlands not far from her own called Utrecht. There she stayed with a young couple and their newborn baby. Dina worked as a nanny under an assumed identity for the rest of the war.

Richard was born to a successful family in Pageri, a small village in South Sudan. When the country descended into civil war in the 1990s, and the government began bombing Pageri, Richard and his family fled to Uganda. After years living in different refugee camps he immigrated to San Francisco, where he graduated from Stuart Hall High School. He continues to reside in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.

Herb was born in Vienna but left in 1939 for Antwerp with his parents after the annexation by the Third Reich.  Eventually, they moved to Brussels and Herb’s parents gave him up unconditionally to Andree Geulen-Herscovici, working for the Jewish Defense Committee.  Reunited with his parents after the war, Herb came to San Francisco in 1948 where he began his own business.

George was one year old and living in Warsaw when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. George and his mother escaped from the Ghetto and she placed him with a series of Polish Catholic families. In 1945, George reunited with his mother. They immigrated to the United States in 1949. George went on to get a BS, MS, and PhD in Aeronautics & Astronautics and Nuclear Engineering from MIT.  George is the author of Neither Yesterdays Nor Tomorrows. 

Anita was born in Emmen, a small town in north Holland, but soon after her family moved to Breda.  A Dutch official gave Anita’s family false papers and they spent the war in hiding and apart under fake names—never breathing a word to anyone of their Judaism.  Her family was reunited in 1944 and they immigrated to the United States in 1952.  Anita went on to receive a MA from Harvard in Russian Studies as well as a PhD in Human Development.

Marie was born in Linz, Austria.  She lived through the annexation of Austria by Germany and together with her family was locked inside a synagogue as it was set on fire.  She has lived in California since the end of 1940.

Channy was thirteen years old when the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975. Channy sought refuge from the genocide in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1979. She went on to earn undergraduate degrees, a Master of Science degree, and worked in Silicon Valley as an engineer in the Aerospace and Biotech industries for 30 years.

Peter was born during WWII. His family moved around China during the Pacific Asia War and he arrived in the United States in 1962. He received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of Texas and MD from the University of California in San Francisco.

Jeannette was born in 1939 in Amsterdam, Holland. Jeannette and her brother were sent away to hide with a non-Jewish family. In August 1945, she was “reclaimed” by her uncle and grandmother who had survived the war. Jeannette lived with her uncle, his new wife, and her brother until 1954 when they immigrated to the United States.

Ralph was born in Dresden, Germany in 1931. When he was seven years old, Ralph was sent alone on a Kindertransport to England to escape Nazi persecution. At the outbreak of war, he was evacuated to the English countryside to escape the expected bombing. Educated in England, Ralph immigrated to the United States when he was twenty-seven years old.

Suzanne is the daughter of Holocaust survivors.  Her father escaped Germany at age seven on the Kindertransport.  Her mother came to the United States as a baby fleeing Italy.  Suzanne was inspired to speak by current events, her father’s talks, and her family’s silence around their Holocaust stories throughout her childhood. Suzanne is a strategy and communications consultant who lives in Oakland with her husband and daughter.

Steve was born in San Francisco Japantown before the war and was incarcerated as a child at Tanforan and Topaz. Steve graduated from Lowell High School and the University of California with a degree in Business Administration.  Steve has participated on a committee to create a memorial for the 8,000 persons who were imprisoned at Tanforan Assembly Center.

Bihama was four years old when the Rwandan Genocide took place in his native country in 1994. After their mother died, Bihama and his two sisters crossed the border and became refugees in Uganda. Eventually Bihama came to the United States with his youngest sister; they are currently struggling to find a way to bring their other sister to join them. Bihama is a champion marathon runner.

AnneMarie was born in Chemnitz, Germany. In the aftermath of Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938, AnneMarie’s father was imprisoned in Buchenwald concentration camp. After his release, she and her parents escaped to Belgium. After the Nazi invasion of Belgium in May 1940, AnneMarie’s father sent her to a convent to hide.

Paul was 5 when the Germans annexed Austria in 1938. Shortly thereafter, he and his family fled to Brussels. As the Nazis tightened their grasp in Belgium, Paul’s mother was approached by the Underground, which offered to protect Paul. With a rucksack on his back, Paul left with a stranger. He was placed in a Catholic boy’s school in rural Belgium. After War II, Paul reunited with his mother and they immigrated to the United States, where they became American citizens in 1948. Paul is the author of Breaking the Silence: Reminiscences of a Hidden Child.


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