Every Sunday morning, we watch Willie Geist on NBC News Sunday TODAY. One of our favorite segments is A Life Well Lived. The segment highlights a person that recently passed that contributed to society, someone that we may have never heard of, but accomplished and sacrificed many things throughout their life.
The most recent segment highlighted the life of Gerda Weissman Klein, who died Sunday, April 3rd. Gerda was 15 years old when the Nazi’s invaded Poland and she was separated from her family never to see them again. In 1945 she was marched with other prisoners by German troops some 350 miles across Europe. She was one of 200 that survived in a barn in Czechia. On May 7th of that year, the barn door opened to find American troops there to liberate her and the others. Germany refugee-turned intelligence officer Kurt Klein was among the troops. After meeting over those circumstances, they got engaged that September and were married the next year in Paris. They later moved to the United States.
Gerda wrote a 1957 autobiography of her life called All But My Life, which remains essential reading in Holocaust education and was the subject in a 1995 documentary that won an Emmy and an Oscar. In 2011, President Obama presented Gerda with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She said that day “If darkness seems so total, if you think there is no way out remember never never give up.”
Gerda Weissman Klein, a holocaust survivor, who spent her life inspiring hope and courage to others died at her home in Phoenix with her family by her side. She was 97 years old.
With the war in Ukraine continuing to separate families and cause unneeded death and destruction, Gerda’s quote about never giving up rings true. May is Jewish American Heritage month. I am looking forward to reading about others that lived a life well lived.
Jay Marsh | Sales Consultant | CenterCircle Creative