Caryl Stern, the renowned human rights activist, is the third generation of women in her family whose lives were shaped by the Holocaust. Her grandmother, Mignon Langnas, was a nurse in Vienna when the Nazis invaded. Facing an agonizing decision, she sent her two young children on a ship to the US, opting to stay with her ailing parents and to take care of her patients in a Jewish children’s hospital, navigating constant risk of deportation and death.
Caryl’s mother, Manuela Stern, crossed the ocean at the age of six and once here, lived in an orphanage on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Manuela’s experience contributed to her becoming a passionate civic activist and educator. For these three women, “tikkun olam” (Hebrew for, “to heal the world”) is now part of their DNA.
The Museum and The Olga Lengyel Institute present this fascinating conversation between Caryl and Manuela about the impact of the Holocaust on three generations of women. The program is moderated by NBC’s senior legal and investigative correspondent Cynthia McFadden.
Watch the program below.
This program’s original recording transcript is below. This transcription was created automatically during a live program so may contain inaccurate transcriptions of some words.
Jack Kliger: I'm Jack Kliger, President and CEO of the Museum of Jewish heritage, a loving memorial the Holocaust is a pleasure to kick off today's program on the Holocaust and tikkun olam healing the world and on three generations of humanitarian women.
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The museum was founded 25 years ago as a living memorial to the Holocaust and institution dedicated to remembrance to education and to renewal.
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There are a few people who better embody this notion that our featured guests today Mandela and Caryl Stern, a mother and daughter, who have channeled the lessons of their families experiences into efforts to remake our world for the better tikun alone.
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In a moment we'll turn to distinguish journalist Cynthia mcfadden to help us get to know carolyn Mandela and their story.
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please feel free to share questions for them in the zoom Q amp a box and we'll answer as many as we can for the end of the hour.
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i'd like to thank our partners at the oval angle Institute and i'll turn things over to ogle angle institute trustee Harry wall, who will introduce today's guest.
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Harry Wall: Thank you jack it's a pleasure to partner with you and the end museum the Jewish heritage for this very special Program.
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Harry Wall: The old language Institute is dedicated to providing educators, with the opportunities to study the Holocaust and teach it to.
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Harry Wall: teach the Holocaust over 3500 teachers across the US and in 10 European countries have participated in our professional programs, at a time, rising extremism and tolerance, their work has never been more important.
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Harry Wall: i'm so pleased to have Caryl stern and her mother many for this program.
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Harry Wall: i've known Carol for many years, when we were both at adl together, then she was the associate national director.
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Harry Wall: And the truly inspiring figure to so many people there, she went on to head the US fund for UNICEF and left that in for 15 years and only two years ago took up her her role as the CEO of the walton family foundation.
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Harry Wall: carol's life work on behalf of human rights, causes truly embodies the meeting tikun along.
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Harry Wall: healing the world her story and that every grandmother and mother many a Holocaust survivor who arrived in December 1939.
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Harry Wall: New York is a testimony of how the tragedy of the Holocaust inform their lives in a positive way to make a difference.
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Harry Wall: Let me now turn over the program to our moderator Cynthia mcfadden Cindy is a distinguished TV journalist currently to sync with the senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC news, she was an anchor and correspondent for ABC where she also co anchor nightline Cynthia.
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Cynthia McFadden: Thank you so much, all the way from Israel, thank you for that introduction isn't technology amazing.
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Cynthia McFadden: Well it's a real pleasure to be with you all today we have a nice big audience and.
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Cynthia McFadden: People who want to hear the story, so I don't want to take up too much time at the top, but I do want to say that I come to this conversation because Carol aspect.
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Cynthia McFadden: And Caroline traveled the world together we've been everywhere from Kenya to Sierra Leone to the Central African Republic, she even snuck into a meeting with Prince William and I will tell you about that later offline.
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Cynthia McFadden: But she's a truly remarkable woman who i've come to really not just admire, but really love.
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Cynthia McFadden: And she speaks so often of humanity in the field around the world how you inspired her and your mother inspire her at the opportunity to talk to both of you about this today was just too good to pass up so there's no further ado.
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Cynthia McFadden: I do think.
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Cynthia McFadden: When it comes to remembrance it's so important to consider the way those who came before us influence how we see the world now so.
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Cynthia McFadden: we're going to start with just a little bit of the backstory okay.
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Cynthia McFadden: i'm uncomfortable the whole humanity but i'm going to do it anyway.
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Cynthia McFadden: No way better than or nanny, which is what everybody else calls to, but here we go.
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Cynthia McFadden: Tell me.
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Cynthia McFadden: The beginning of the story, I started back when your father part of the St Louis but really what preceded that is vitally important tell me what happened, you are a little girl six years.
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Manuela Stern: Old right you, you must bear in mind that these are the memories of a five and six year old so that there is a certain editorial privilege, I guess, a license attuned to it.
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Manuela Stern: To my in my memory this all started on a Friday evening my brother and I were used to sleep at my grandparents house Friday.
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Manuela Stern: By parents could go out to what parents do and we had gone to then when suddenly my father appeared Mary on that one what's the now your children get dressed quick quick, we have to go home.
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Manuela Stern: So we got dressed and we went back to our partners, I have no clue as to how former was.
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Manuela Stern: And when we got there they were maybe a half a dozen people in our living room all around the radio now remember pre TV, not everyone even had radio, actually, and it was the day that the knots that the.
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Manuela Stern: Germans came into Australia, now we went to sleep obviously didn't know what was happening, the following morning the streets were loaded.
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Manuela Stern: With people and flags and cheering and motorcycles, I must confess to this day, I cannot tolerate motorcycles.
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Manuela Stern: But something has happened, but we were children, you know previous to this we live a very normal middle class city life we I went to kindergarten my brother, I think, went to kindergarten I made sure he's younger than I am.
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Manuela Stern: So that was my introduction to change now as time went on, they will many little subtle incidents that.
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Manuela Stern: really made you realize, there was a change my violin teacher stuff coming he was Christian was not permitted to teach me anymore my school, I could not go to everything was changing, but I was a child, I don't know how much I questioned it.
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Manuela Stern: The main danger was to the men that the Nazis, the just collecting men and one evening when my mother was out that they had come from my father.
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Manuela Stern: But you have to realize the still people that were not accustomed to being that terrible so my father said look I can't leave my children my wife is not here.
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Manuela Stern: I have to wait till my wife comes and they live downstairs in front of the building and waited for my father and he immediately got my mother and.
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Manuela Stern: Then he was fortunate he came down we lived on the fifth floor of the building and came downstairs went through the front door and got on the trolley.
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Manuela Stern: And the men were had been outside smoking, so they never saw him and then spent three days in the bathroom of a cousin's House whose husband had already been taken.
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Manuela Stern: And, and when they came to her house again, she said, where do you want from me you've already got my husband he's gone so it became obvious at that point that the men had to leave, I mean we all want to leave but.
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Manuela Stern: United States had a quota system, as we all know my parents were Polish my brother and I were Austrian and it just was impossible to get visas for everybody.
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Manuela Stern: So my father heard that a ship was leaving from Germany for Cuba and he was thinking was that if he got to Cuba, he could possibly then send for my mother, my brother and I.
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Manuela Stern: went to Germany got on the ship they spent and how many days on the ocean and when they arrived, I have many letters from him and telegrams tempest trip was wonderful, it was a German ship, but he always.
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Manuela Stern: reminded me that the captain was very, very nice very civil, it was a wonderful trip until they arrived in urbana and we're not permitted to disembark.
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Manuela Stern: So the staff actually right off the coast of Florida coast and beg the United States to take the 900 passengers, but we have a quota system here.
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Manuela Stern: So the ship started back to Europe, as it was crossing the ocean, it was going back determined that it was a German ship, there was no doubt about it and that definitely annihilation of these people.
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Manuela Stern: As they were crossing the ocean, France and Belgium, today we take some people and England said they would take able bodied single men.
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Manuela Stern: And my father at that point is in his late 40s and to all intents purposes, he was on that ship, so he was one of the very fortunate ones, who was taken off the ship in England and spent two years in England we did learn English.
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Cynthia McFadden: That, in fact, my might have saved his life as I am.
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Manuela Stern: Absolutely happy because many of those who went to France and Belgium eventually went to Camp soul so because the Nazis were coming through that that definitely saved his life.
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Manuela Stern: And after two years he was able to integrate he had to go counselor and then Canada, because my brother and I were here already, was able to come to the United States.
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Cynthia McFadden: All right, there's so many more delicious details, but for now let's.
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Cynthia McFadden: pause.
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Cynthia McFadden: there for a second and Carol i'm gonna have you pick up your grandmother is back in back in Austria with her two little kids and she has made a big decision herself as time goes by, tell us tell us about her and that decision.
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Caryl Stern: So I never had the privilege to know her but was given her name her name was minyard that's my middle name.
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Caryl Stern: And she had to make a decision, because she didn't want to leave her parents, but she also wanted to save the life of her children.
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Caryl Stern: And she had a sister in the United States and so she arranged to have her children with a family friend escorted to the United States.
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Caryl Stern: Really, to save their lives, but you know you have to remember, no one knew it was going to be yours, then no one anticipated this war would go on.
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Caryl Stern: You know you think you're sending your children to your sister for a couple of weeks, maybe, and in the end it was 10 years so seven years gives me seven years until family was reunited.
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Cynthia McFadden: She today just to put that in perspective, you were six years old, by the time you saw your mother again.
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Cynthia McFadden: It was how's The lifetime.
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Manuela Stern: I was 13 yeah.
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Cynthia McFadden: I was in your brother George who, I think, maybe in the audience hi George who did an incredible job pulling together documents and journals and diaries which we can talk about a bit, but he was he was five and 411 when she came back on.
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Cynthia McFadden: I mean you know honor myself reading parts of the journal parts of the letters I mean it's almost inconceivable choice it's talk about sophie's choice again.
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Cynthia McFadden: you've got your elderly parents you've got your little kids and, as time goes by right and originally think it's for a few weeks, maybe a few months, it becomes longer and longer I mean, how do you think about that in retrospect.
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Cynthia McFadden: carol's.
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Caryl Stern: Well, I think what's interesting for me is the first time I heard the story, I was a child.
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Caryl Stern: So I never thought about what my grandmother thought being on staff it never dawned on me the hell, she must have gone through to make that decision, you know I only thought about how hard it must have been to be six and four and have to leave your mother, I mean.
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Cynthia McFadden: You know that that was yes, yes.
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Caryl Stern: Sorry, and I really don't think I thought about it as much until I had children and then, once I had children, I thought well you know you'll do anything for your child and so you know if saving their life means I have to give them up you're going to do that.
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Cynthia McFadden: But will not go with them, that is a.
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Cynthia McFadden: Hard thing I mean i'm not I know as a little girl, how did that feel to you man.
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Manuela Stern: You know, when I Carol asked me that question this past week, and I have to confess to you that I don't remember thinking about it.
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Manuela Stern: It was, I think my mother prepare this so well, this was an adventure, we will go into Agnelli that's me as a little girl, and you have to realize that I must go aside for a moment that I was blonde and blue eyes and that.
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Manuela Stern: meant that I could get twice the rations that somebody else could because they didn't know that I was Jewish just that's number i'm about two or three years old there, I think.
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Manuela Stern: But.
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Cynthia McFadden: Is that your mother is that.
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Manuela Stern: My mother yeah.
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Manuela Stern: that's my mother so.
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Cynthia McFadden: You know you don't remember feeling either abandoned or angry, or you just know we're doing what we need to do now, because we should point out, though she was sending you to her sister.
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Cynthia McFadden: You are sisters working your father was finally made a God or is working So where do you and your brother.
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Caryl Stern: When your phone is not in New York.
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Manuela Stern: he's not.
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Cynthia McFadden: There yet he gets there.
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Cynthia McFadden: You know what happens.
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Manuela Stern: Well, when we came to me on my end, and when I think about it, that was in her early 30s she and her husband had just been married three or four years spoke.
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Manuela Stern: Very little English, if at all, and had to make a living, and this is still good depression.
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Manuela Stern: And so they had jobs where they would make 12 $15 per week and they both have to work, just to survive and there was no way that she could take care of children, children.
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Manuela Stern: So we went to what was called the gusts department phone for children for the Israel often asylum biggest department was.
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Manuela Stern: A well known Jersey New York City unless he currently downloaded this home, and I must tell you that even when I when I think about it, I was very happy there.
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Manuela Stern: I was in I can't refer first of all, I was fortunate, I was a favorite child all little girls have their hair cut my hair was warning braids I was just I was given piano lessons.
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Manuela Stern: I learned some play Chinese checkers I do silly things that's my brother and I in rockaway they have a second facility in rockaway we went in the summer, and I think of it like I used to think about someone can.
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Manuela Stern: Really, we we were very, very well taken care of.
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Cynthia McFadden: You have a sunny personality that's clear.
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Cynthia McFadden: Right, I mean, as you could imagine our children would not have this reaction right.
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Manuela Stern: Well, you know the other The other thing I must tell you the counselors we call them nurses, but they were our counselors most of them were the European girls to manage to escape.
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Manuela Stern: from Europe, and so they will very soon particle.
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Cynthia McFadden: You can speak English.
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Cynthia McFadden: Did you.
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Manuela Stern: You know, and when you were six years old, you learn English very quickly you really do, and my brother turned off his German as soon as he got off the boat I, to this day.
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Manuela Stern: As a story, no.
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Caryl Stern: share the story about what happened when he first got off the boat the sign.
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Manuela Stern: You want me to tell my aunt and uncle medicine, the boat now remember my brother is four and six, and he painted he pointed to a sign that said should all the passages go this way whatever it said, and he asked my uncle it that said no Jews allowed, so this is four years old.
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Manuela Stern: And that kind of sums up.
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Manuela Stern: What happened.
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Cynthia McFadden: wow time.
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Cynthia McFadden: I was about to say it's so hard to imagine now maybe it's not so hard to imagine now in other circumstances with other people, I mean you know it's.
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Cynthia McFadden: Our way of repeating itself.
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Cynthia McFadden: wow what a you know Mike Nichols the movie director used to tell the story about arriving himself in the middle of the war and he said that people kept trying to hug him, they were alone on the boat and he said I, my first German sentence was please don't.
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Cynthia McFadden: ever say listen.
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Cynthia McFadden: You know I, but you know it created all kinds of.
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Cynthia McFadden: d enduring issues for him as a as a young man this experience, but you I was i'm not joking, who do seem to have a rather sunny personality right you seem to be able to make the best on whatever the circumstance was going to be.
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Manuela Stern: True to the.
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Manuela Stern: True unfortunate, yes, I think the sun, the sun, I do.
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Manuela Stern: And I also blessed by the wonderful people I had American rather into many of whom had no children and I don't know why, but they didn't, and so they embrace this and took us to the theater and we took us to the circus circus to radio city, and I think.
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Manuela Stern: It was good yeah I.
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Cynthia McFadden: Imagine Germany right i'm sorry back in Austria, things were not so good.
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Cynthia McFadden: Your.
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Cynthia McFadden: your mother and.
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Cynthia McFadden: You probably didn't know a lot of this at the time as it was happening that she had stayed behind to take care of her elderly parents.
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Cynthia McFadden: The Nazis became you know more and more repressive more and more violent the terror increased and it's so interesting reading the papers how she was able to stay openly Jewish in Australia at this time, explain that to me Carol.
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Caryl Stern: You know I actually i'm gonna let my mother answer that because, but I will just before you go to the answer say definitely my mother is the optimist I.
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Caryl Stern: There is.
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Caryl Stern: One thing she gave us my brother and I, it was be thankful you're lucky look at this amazing country we live in use your voice like there was always this there's a reason we're here be thankful for it.
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Caryl Stern: So you know semantically what our lives have been about but answer the other question first mom and we'll come back to that.
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Manuela Stern: Well, I forgot the question i'm oh yeah.
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Cynthia McFadden: Well, I mean.
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Cynthia McFadden: it's a question where she's not being Jewish wasn't pretending she wasn't George how did you get to stay in Austria and not be sent to a camp.
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Cynthia McFadden: And the answer.
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Cynthia McFadden: You go ahead and that.
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Manuela Stern: Okay, my mother became a nurse in the hospital for children of mixed marriages, so it was a very fragile thing for the Nazis, because they have not seen to marry to Jews Jews who were married you know.
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Manuela Stern: And so, this hospital was primarily for children of mixed marriages and she would work sometimes 48 hours at a time, and she worked around the clock, and this was really.
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Manuela Stern: What I think would say to her and she was a very smart woman, she was.
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Cynthia McFadden: Yes, the Nazis, if you were declared indispensable if you're Jewish and indispensable, as she was there for her.
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Cynthia McFadden: nursing work.
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Cynthia McFadden: She got to stay it but wow so she's taking care of her parents and her mother dies.
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Cynthia McFadden: tell the story which one of you should tell the story which I love so much about the night of the bombing and the little boy who has a Community school called either sell that to me.
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Manuela Stern: Man all right.
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Manuela Stern: In 1944 the Nazis took over Hong Kong Hungary was always an hour, but in 1944 it became part of the German empire, or whatever, and they started.
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Manuela Stern: Moving the Jews from Austria into deanna and the outskirts of Vienna, where they were factories and they needed work as.
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Manuela Stern: One of the families that was relocated was the kashi family and they have a 12 year old son, and so they were relocated and proceeded to do whatever they had to do.
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Manuela Stern: The little boy became very, very ill and nobody, they have no one to take care of it, and no one to make it better somehow he was smuggled into the hospital where my mother was working and she became his nurse.
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Manuela Stern: Now, remember this is late 1944 billion, you know the war is beginning to take her down and the bombing the American bombing is very, very heavy.
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Manuela Stern: Yes, and one and one night has the bombs are falling, and it was customary to take all the children and the nurses down into the basement and bombs before.
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Manuela Stern: He could not be moved and there were several other children who could not be with them, and I know that stayed with them throughout.
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Manuela Stern: The barney and this little boy I think became one for favorites and when the Nazis would come to spec the hospital, she would hide it in the basement in a closet.
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Manuela Stern: And then she would put them in the closet and lock the door.
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Manuela Stern: And this was a story that we kind of knew but didn't really know and recently my brother and I were in Vienna and we met a young man young man he's my age.
00:24:11.670 --> 00:24:28.560
Manuela Stern: If they discussed it, and he just wrote a book and my mother's name was mainly on and the book is yearning for them so and it's really the book he is he was a professor at the Hebrew university and.
00:24:29.910 --> 00:24:31.680
Manuela Stern: The book is his life but that.
00:24:31.710 --> 00:24:31.950
Cynthia McFadden: Was the.
00:24:32.070 --> 00:24:37.650
Manuela Stern: title of the book so she made a lasting you know impression on.
00:24:38.730 --> 00:24:43.440
Cynthia McFadden: My right is that their own memorial to her somewhere in Austria.
00:24:43.920 --> 00:25:01.800
Manuela Stern: yeah well they they just named a park after her and the other day, my brother showed me there's plaques and you know with her picture on it, yet she was a very unique woman, unfortunately, when she came in Brazil.
00:25:04.380 --> 00:25:26.130
Cynthia McFadden: When she got one log so that he and she survives the lore she's my she's trying to hartford and out of Australia to get to you and your brother and your father in America as soon as she can and that's labeled with problems, but I want to just before we get there, I this just.
00:25:28.230 --> 00:25:38.370
Cynthia McFadden: her father died in 1945, I believe, just before the end of the war and she writes a letter to her cousin I believe in Switzerland and I want to read this.
00:25:39.030 --> 00:25:52.590
Cynthia McFadden: My hair is a large leaving wound in my eyes are half blind from leaving i'm so frightened I cannot understand how the song can still shy, you know she was brave she was human.
00:25:54.240 --> 00:26:01.140
Cynthia McFadden: Right it's hard to imagine what it would have been like at that point, not knowing will it ever be over and.
00:26:02.760 --> 00:26:05.730
Cynthia McFadden: You know, we have the benefit of history now looking back carol's.
00:26:05.940 --> 00:26:07.200
Caryl Stern: And know you know Cindy it's.
00:26:07.200 --> 00:26:16.020
Caryl Stern: interesting because I think having grown up with all the stories she became real for me when I started to read the letters okay.
00:26:16.650 --> 00:26:17.040
Manuela Stern: Because.
00:26:17.370 --> 00:26:18.840
Caryl Stern: Then it was her voice talking.
00:26:18.990 --> 00:26:28.080
Caryl Stern: Because I never knew her, but there was there's a letter, where she talks about it's her cousin's birthday and she wants to buy flowers.
00:26:28.590 --> 00:26:36.360
Caryl Stern: She can't buy flowers because Jews are not allowed to buy flowers Okay, and then I don't know how many years later, she references that letter.
00:26:37.260 --> 00:26:49.410
Caryl Stern: And she says to think X, years ago, all I was upset about was I can't buy flowers and now my children are somewhere my husband is somewhere my you know, like the context of it all.
00:26:51.660 --> 00:27:11.610
Caryl Stern: Like she became a person in that moment for me, you know um but even she was an optimist that we look, she stayed in a place that you knew was really dangerous she believed life would get better she kept going to work she took care of children, like she had a purpose.
00:27:12.420 --> 00:27:17.490
Cynthia McFadden: You know she says something else, and one of the letters that just I was saying.
00:27:18.960 --> 00:27:33.210
Cynthia McFadden: would never have occurred to me, she says i'm one of the few people of my generation from this place, who knows where my parents are buried yeah you know so moving.
00:27:34.380 --> 00:27:34.680
00:27:35.730 --> 00:27:36.060
Caryl Stern: yeah.
00:27:37.230 --> 00:27:39.780
Cynthia McFadden: Have you been there have you been have you been to your.
00:27:39.810 --> 00:27:41.490
Manuela Stern: audience yes.
00:27:42.120 --> 00:27:45.570
Manuela Stern: my brother and I went to the cemetery twice to.
00:27:47.580 --> 00:27:51.270
Cynthia McFadden: You know it's annoying to me because the book is published in German.
00:27:51.600 --> 00:27:58.680
Cynthia McFadden: So I know parts, where they translated to English, but I, there was a reason to explain.
00:28:00.570 --> 00:28:00.930
00:28:02.490 --> 00:28:12.810
Manuela Stern: First of all, we have to accept that this is a Labor of love my brother, and we do it is phenomenal and it's a gift that he's given me and my children that's.
00:28:14.250 --> 00:28:15.240
Cynthia McFadden: The rest of us to.
00:28:18.060 --> 00:28:29.580
Manuela Stern: Work is actually primarily my brother and my mother's letters and she was very, very articulate my brother tried several times to have it translated and.
00:28:30.210 --> 00:28:45.060
Manuela Stern: i'll give you an example when I read the translations that he has is probably what he will see it, I was of course they're removed, but when I read the German I heard my mother's voice.
00:28:46.080 --> 00:29:05.130
Manuela Stern: And my German is very poor so that was not easy for me to do so, he is trying very hard to find the correct translator now the book was recently published in Israel by our shim and, of course, none of us read Hebrew so we got.
00:29:06.990 --> 00:29:12.540
Manuela Stern: But it's very difficult to get the boy to hear the voice in English.
00:29:13.530 --> 00:29:23.490
Cynthia McFadden: Well, can you listen to take it back to its origin, I mean he wanted it to be published in Australia, I guess you can understand that right, the legacies is so.
00:29:24.600 --> 00:29:36.600
Cynthia McFadden: So she was, as we say, one of the she was one of the few of the 200,000 Austrian Jewish men and women who survived in Vienna until 1945.
00:29:38.070 --> 00:29:38.940
Cynthia McFadden: So.
00:29:42.000 --> 00:29:53.520
Cynthia McFadden: Another aspect of this that I want to explore with you, she talks about how if you were Jewish who had stayed and survived you had to explain.
00:29:54.270 --> 00:30:10.230
Cynthia McFadden: What happened why and historian wrote this really interesting thing how i've seen is this arrogance, which seeks to judge the survivors and indirectly demands that they should kindly justify just why they have not been.
00:30:11.370 --> 00:30:20.700
Cynthia McFadden: But is that something I mean wow again, you know these are the things that that are so important that a rock forward so that others can we.
00:30:21.990 --> 00:30:22.920
Cynthia McFadden: Talk about that.
00:30:23.070 --> 00:30:33.090
Caryl Stern: And you know cynthia's it, you and I have traveled the world and I don't know if you call it a privilege, but had the privilege to be in the refugee camps all around the world.
00:30:34.320 --> 00:30:44.520
Caryl Stern: And when you talk to them, these are people who've been thrown out of their countries who have experienced extreme cars, but when you say, what do you want most.
00:30:45.660 --> 00:30:47.310
Caryl Stern: The most want to go home.
00:30:48.000 --> 00:30:52.290
Caryl Stern: yeah, even though this country has expelled them has done everything horrible.
00:30:53.430 --> 00:30:54.930
Caryl Stern: They want to go home.
00:30:56.730 --> 00:31:03.720
Caryl Stern: They have a right they want the right to be where were their birth was they want the rate to be where they chose to be and.
00:31:04.440 --> 00:31:09.630
Caryl Stern: I you know it's an interesting thing, because I think a lot of people have asked that question about those who returned.
00:31:10.050 --> 00:31:22.110
Caryl Stern: Even not even just those who survived, how could they go back to Germany, but they go back to Austria, you know I asked it of the Roi or me, Mr you know, like, why do you want to go back you know.
00:31:22.440 --> 00:31:28.410
Cynthia McFadden: Oh, this a little bit differently, I took this to me like you must have been complicit if you survive.
00:31:30.090 --> 00:31:36.990
Cynthia McFadden: You know, you must have you must have been doing something wrong somehow I mean and I don't know, maybe I misunderstood it.
00:31:37.020 --> 00:31:42.420
Cynthia McFadden: I take your point, though, and you are so right, just like every abuse, child i've ever interviewed what.
00:31:42.420 --> 00:31:42.720
00:31:43.770 --> 00:31:43.980
Cynthia McFadden: yeah.
00:31:44.400 --> 00:31:45.060
Cynthia McFadden: I mean you know.
00:31:46.290 --> 00:31:50.310
Cynthia McFadden: it's it's the human instinct to make things whole right.
00:31:50.790 --> 00:31:54.840
Caryl Stern: And I mean does repeat itself, I mean I you know just kind of.
00:31:55.020 --> 00:31:57.240
Cynthia McFadden: knowing your mother's really did get back to.
00:31:57.240 --> 00:32:01.050
Cynthia McFadden: New York tell take us there what was that experience like for you.
00:32:02.550 --> 00:32:15.030
Manuela Stern: It was not easy, it was remember seven years is a long time, I was 13 years old 13 year old girls and not the nicest people.
00:32:20.730 --> 00:32:21.090
Cynthia McFadden: Yes.
00:32:22.710 --> 00:32:32.670
Manuela Stern: It right, not mine to course it was it was a very difficult time my parents had not been together for seven years.
00:32:33.360 --> 00:32:56.760
Manuela Stern: I was sure they will questions and without answers and many things that they could not tell each other or want to tell each other, my father was struggling in business, this is taken in Canada, I had an ongoing handler my parents, I guess around 1946 or seven.
00:32:58.380 --> 00:33:09.420
Manuela Stern: It was, it was not when I think about it, my mother, when I started to connect really when it was too late, which is very sad for him.
00:33:09.840 --> 00:33:10.080
00:33:11.190 --> 00:33:11.280
Manuela Stern: He.
00:33:12.600 --> 00:33:18.600
Manuela Stern: tried I would hear her cry why all the children love to why don't my children.
00:33:20.280 --> 00:33:20.700
Cynthia McFadden: Oh.
00:33:21.630 --> 00:33:38.220
Manuela Stern: We have difficulty connecting you know reaching out and not being able to touch, of course, I was happy she's here, but my life change my brothers and my land and we had been living with my aunt and uncle and my father and my.
00:33:38.940 --> 00:33:44.520
Manuela Stern: dad to their own finally to the wrong place, and it was a difficult summer.
00:33:45.390 --> 00:33:49.290
Cynthia McFadden: Did you realize that Carol did your mom talk to you about that, when you were little.
00:33:50.850 --> 00:33:57.420
Caryl Stern: Less then more now we've talked about it, you know you know we we definitely talked about.
00:33:58.740 --> 00:33:59.040
Caryl Stern: You know.
00:33:59.100 --> 00:34:10.980
Cynthia McFadden: Because you know it is, I mean what an experience right she goes through all this medium she goes to all this she's a hero, I mean and her contemporaries many of like she said, these children will love me but.
00:34:13.050 --> 00:34:17.550
Cynthia McFadden: i'm coming to find a virtue kids not to don lemon mean you've.
00:34:17.970 --> 00:34:18.870
Caryl Stern: grown grown.
00:34:20.310 --> 00:34:21.300
Caryl Stern: they've gone away.
00:34:23.640 --> 00:34:24.570
Cynthia McFadden: So she died.
00:34:24.750 --> 00:34:26.760
Cynthia McFadden: wasn't even 50 what she when she died.
00:34:26.790 --> 00:34:38.940
Manuela Stern: He was 46 when she died and the three years that you looked into it and a half years she has LG adapter gallbladder which in those days was a major concern.
00:34:40.110 --> 00:34:50.700
Manuela Stern: With that and then at the end, I told me, to this day, and not quite clear about what was that course to death, but penicillin and just come into being.
00:34:52.140 --> 00:34:54.450
Manuela Stern: A you know, so it just.
00:34:55.980 --> 00:35:01.740
Manuela Stern: And, of course, once she was done, we have regrets, but that that's why.
00:35:02.610 --> 00:35:06.840
Cynthia McFadden: you so much for what you know sort of the message in the bottle from.
00:35:06.840 --> 00:35:29.310
Cynthia McFadden: Her to you, and then to Carol is there a is there a thing I mean i'm sure there are many things, but is there a primary thing that you can explain to us that you've got from her both of both the real her in the myth of her right the the hurt us is in the in her greater self.
00:35:29.370 --> 00:35:40.590
Manuela Stern: You know that that's an interesting question because the myth of her was part of the problem when she came everybody, you know the outside world.
00:35:42.270 --> 00:36:05.490
Manuela Stern: Looked at her and so very, very special a real true hero, but she is my mommy you know and and and it was different and and what it's what he was just some of those a close and dear to us and and and to end to gather everybody, you can I mean what else.
00:36:06.810 --> 00:36:11.310
Cynthia McFadden: Well Carol always says that you welcome to everybody didn't matter who that you're you're.
00:36:12.330 --> 00:36:14.130
Cynthia McFadden: The House and.
00:36:15.660 --> 00:36:20.640
Cynthia McFadden: There was not a library power straight human didn't come to you, and they.
00:36:20.880 --> 00:36:21.840
Cynthia McFadden: were all them.
00:36:22.200 --> 00:36:25.470
Manuela Stern: yeah true randall a slump came to me, yes.
00:36:26.220 --> 00:36:27.510
Manuela Stern: Is one carrier.
00:36:28.080 --> 00:36:34.380
Cynthia McFadden: Sorry, is it not also true that it's 77 oh you graduated from college.
00:36:34.830 --> 00:36:46.710
Manuela Stern: Oh yes, well, I started college right, you know, and I went to two years, and then I got married and I promised my father that I would finish college, so I did it.
00:36:48.000 --> 00:36:58.260
Cynthia McFadden: Well, so you certainly got some of her drive no doubt about that Carol what what what I mean you you've said to me, before having her name is your middle name.
00:37:00.090 --> 00:37:04.650
Cynthia McFadden: has been a badge of honor for you, what is it hasn't oblige you.
00:37:06.150 --> 00:37:07.020
Cynthia McFadden: do anything.
00:37:08.340 --> 00:37:16.020
Caryl Stern: do anything I don't know why I think it has enabled me um you know.
00:37:17.490 --> 00:37:18.660
Caryl Stern: I know.
00:37:18.840 --> 00:37:25.590
Caryl Stern: That my mother's story my grandmother's story played a role, particularly during my time at UNICEF.
00:37:26.430 --> 00:37:37.680
Caryl Stern: In why I chose the path, I chose, and what I chose to do you know my attraction to go to adl was the opportunity to be part of an anti bias project, you know.
00:37:38.340 --> 00:37:45.840
Caryl Stern: When a fox been hired me it was to help design and create this project that would teach children not to hate that was definitely a.
00:37:46.290 --> 00:37:55.620
Caryl Stern: You know, a direct lesson coming from my childhood and you know we always get around that you know my mother taught us that lesson right off the BAT you know that.
00:37:55.650 --> 00:37:56.040
Manuela Stern: You didn't.
00:37:56.070 --> 00:38:03.180
Caryl Stern: Judge people by their religion, their their race, their language, the way they dressed That was all irrelevant, you know.
00:38:03.750 --> 00:38:19.680
Caryl Stern: was how they treated each other and so that clearly was a clear I you know I drove me to adl absolutely to be part of that and to fight anti semitism, but I think it UNICEF, I heard the stories in my ears more readily um you know and.
00:38:20.370 --> 00:38:23.430
Cynthia McFadden: I know there are a lot of tell a story.
00:38:23.700 --> 00:38:27.300
Caryl Stern: I got to do it and not cry so um.
00:38:28.320 --> 00:38:36.390
Caryl Stern: When I was in Guatemala, we were dealing with children who were trying to come to the United States, and there are all kinds of.
00:38:36.840 --> 00:38:40.050
Caryl Stern: underground railroads and all kinds of things that help kids coming.
00:38:40.590 --> 00:38:47.550
Caryl Stern: We got word that there were a group of kids who were being returned, these were kids who had paid whose families and sold everything and.
00:38:47.970 --> 00:38:57.870
Caryl Stern: Paid coyotes to take them into the United States and, unfortunately, or depending which politics are mine, unfortunately, they were unsuccessful in that attempt.
00:38:58.410 --> 00:39:09.450
Caryl Stern: So they were being shipped back and UNICEF was supporting a Center that receives these children and part of why we receive them as one to make sure they're healthy to to get their stories.
00:39:09.930 --> 00:39:16.260
Caryl Stern: And then three to make sure that the people were returning them to or not the reason they were fleeing to begin with, so.
00:39:17.370 --> 00:39:30.990
Caryl Stern: I went to the Center to meet the bus and I didn't really think about it at all, like, I was going, this was part of my job, and when I got there we were waiting for this bus and there were a group of moms there weeping.
00:39:32.430 --> 00:39:50.400
Caryl Stern: Because they had such high hopes for their children to have a better life, they had let they have made the choice my grandmother made to send them away, then these cases, mostly with a stranger in a dangerous journey, not on a ship that safe, be it in the basement you know um but really.
00:39:51.690 --> 00:40:04.050
Caryl Stern: very dangerous circumstances and the children had not been able to get there, so the first part of it, for me, was was really thinking about that as I sat with these mothers and talk to them about how they were feeling.
00:40:05.190 --> 00:40:14.130
Caryl Stern: But then the bus arrived and the kids are kept for 24 hours, then they can say hello to their family, but they're brought into the Center again because, primarily, we want to make sure that.
00:40:14.340 --> 00:40:23.520
Caryl Stern: The people that are going to are not the people they were really trying to flee so um and they came into this room, and it was very, very quiet.
00:40:23.550 --> 00:40:31.020
Caryl Stern: And you would expect, you know 50 teenagers show up a little kids that it would be loud but but they they will, many of them were weeping.
00:40:31.530 --> 00:40:39.810
Caryl Stern: They were sitting at tables and this remarkable woman, I wish I could remember her name got up in front of the room and she just she she said welcome home.
00:40:40.470 --> 00:40:46.530
Caryl Stern: And she said I know this is not what you wanted, but your home your in Guatemala, this is your home.
00:40:47.100 --> 00:41:03.990
Caryl Stern: And we are happy, you are here and like she slowly made it Okay, and, as she did conversation started and kids started to talk to each other and we serve them a hot meal and then I noticed one little girl who had her arms around one little boy.
00:41:05.730 --> 00:41:12.900
Caryl Stern: And a little girl was around six and the little boy was about four and I walked over to them, and it was a brother and sister.
00:41:14.460 --> 00:41:23.040
Caryl Stern: And, and she said to me, I said to her, you know your mama's outside you know, though, and and she said, I will take care of him.
00:41:24.420 --> 00:41:33.570
Caryl Stern: And that was it for me, you know that was every story every vision, I guess, I ever had of the story, my mother told me of coming to America.
00:41:35.640 --> 00:41:48.390
Caryl Stern: You know, so you know I spent the next 24 hours with this little girl little boy, but, and I think that, as I work everywhere, I went I knew how important it was.
00:41:49.080 --> 00:42:00.480
Caryl Stern: To show kindness to you know as my mother talks about even being unknown it wasn't terrible they were kind that lesson stayed with me that it mattered to sit with girls in.
00:42:00.570 --> 00:42:09.540
Caryl Stern: Our for me and mark wherever you went and let them tell you their story, even if you read the same story over and over again.
00:42:14.940 --> 00:42:17.310
Cynthia McFadden: And she told you that story, by the way.
00:42:18.060 --> 00:42:19.170
Manuela Stern: yeah yes.
00:42:20.280 --> 00:42:24.570
Manuela Stern: Yes, he always comes with so many stories that's how I feel I know you.
00:42:26.580 --> 00:42:28.590
Cynthia McFadden: I feel I know you yeah we've had.
00:42:28.920 --> 00:42:30.390
Cynthia McFadden: Real as my.
00:42:31.950 --> 00:42:39.360
Cynthia McFadden: adventures, we have had some real yes, I think our first was the first trip alone, where I threw up all over you on the way back I don't know.
00:42:39.570 --> 00:42:40.350
we'll leave that.
00:42:41.940 --> 00:42:44.010
Caryl Stern: For they tried to steal your past but.
00:42:44.010 --> 00:42:45.510
Cynthia McFadden: They did we've.
00:42:45.600 --> 00:42:56.310
Cynthia McFadden: had some real will have some real humdingers and we ended up in a refugee camp in the Central African Republic at one point where they told us we were live in the death so.
00:42:59.520 --> 00:43:00.150
Caryl Stern: I remember.
00:43:02.340 --> 00:43:11.280
Caryl Stern: We said, first of all, if we had no no dangerous where we were going with we might not have gotten so here you have these two brilliant women we've done all this research and a really.
00:43:11.550 --> 00:43:20.700
Caryl Stern: You know, know everything, but then they say to us how excited they are that cynthia's there because the last American reporter was five years ago and they died here so.
00:43:22.050 --> 00:43:31.890
Caryl Stern: And then, knowing the depth so in the section we're in not real safe and they've surrounded us with guys with guns as we're walking through, but you know if they come from above there's nothing anything and.
00:43:31.980 --> 00:43:37.290
Cynthia McFadden: When we did have a question we landed in the little us playing on this landing strip and.
00:43:38.070 --> 00:43:44.790
Cynthia McFadden: I said so they had a huge number of guns, with the machine guys with guns around the plane and we asked about that, and they said yes.
00:43:45.090 --> 00:43:49.530
Cynthia McFadden: The plane will be dismantled before we return if there aren't people protecting it.
00:43:49.950 --> 00:43:57.600
Cynthia McFadden: And, really, the reason I went is because you are going, and the reason you say you went is because I was going, we can get ourselves in a lot of trouble, but.
00:43:57.990 --> 00:44:19.680
Cynthia McFadden: It is all from server some of the work that you have done so brilliantly and so effectively to tell those stories about those children who are alive today because of the work that you both supported pioneer and I just can't say enough, and you must just be so squeaky proud of her and.
00:44:19.680 --> 00:44:20.460
Manuela Stern: Everybody know.
00:44:20.490 --> 00:44:21.000
Cynthia McFadden: done.
00:44:21.990 --> 00:44:22.590
I mean I.
00:44:23.790 --> 00:44:25.860
Manuela Stern: asked her about elementary school.
00:44:30.300 --> 00:44:33.240
Caryl Stern: Years there was downtime is going to make it through school, so you know.
00:44:34.530 --> 00:44:43.290
Caryl Stern: But you know, I think that the other legacy for me to one is clearly my grandmother, but the other is what my uncle has done with this book.
00:44:43.620 --> 00:44:58.350
Caryl Stern: Oh, because it has made me recognize how important it is for my children to hear these stories for them not to get lost, just as I said, it's made me really understand why it's important to listen to every story of every.
00:44:58.350 --> 00:44:59.070
Caryl Stern: person in.
00:44:59.100 --> 00:45:00.300
Caryl Stern: refugee camp like.
00:45:00.570 --> 00:45:01.110
Caryl Stern: well.
00:45:01.260 --> 00:45:14.430
Cynthia McFadden: That there has personal stories and you know these they're they're both personal and their universals in so many ways, right and then that's why it's important to do things like the I say we should go on the road three ladies and black.
00:45:16.140 --> 00:45:26.730
Cynthia McFadden: Listen i'm not being rude i'm looking at my because i'm sorry to the miracle of science is sending me questions, some of our audience members have so you again for a few questions.
00:45:26.940 --> 00:45:27.720
Manuela Stern: For sure.
00:45:27.810 --> 00:45:31.890
Cynthia McFadden: I always hate him with the audience ask better questions and I did so i'm skipping a really good.
00:45:34.980 --> 00:45:40.350
Cynthia McFadden: i'm lori as well as men well as name come from it's not Polish or Austrian.
00:45:41.070 --> 00:46:02.580
Manuela Stern: Right it, which is interesting because everyone expects me to be Hispanic which obviously is not my parents lost their first child when she was three years old, so that when I came along, I was a gift from God and manual is a gift from God.
00:46:03.240 --> 00:46:05.010
Manuela Stern: And you will miss my name.
00:46:05.430 --> 00:46:10.260
Manuela Stern: And of course I have a Hebrew name, which is not good, and that means Queen.
00:46:10.650 --> 00:46:12.030
Manuela Stern: So area.
00:46:13.980 --> 00:46:16.620
Cynthia McFadden: Listen, you will burn you have no wonder you're such a.
00:46:18.390 --> 00:46:33.180
Cynthia McFadden: Good a big burden here all right Nancy wants to know man, why did you identify as a Holocaust survivor If not, what term do you use for yourself that's a very interesting, you know what that's a really good question.
00:46:33.510 --> 00:46:34.830
Cynthia McFadden: And lori first.
00:46:35.940 --> 00:46:47.400
Caryl Stern: hear it because I always very clearly say you were a victim of the Holocaust, who survived or they don't call you a survivor so if you're well you reference yourself.
00:46:49.980 --> 00:46:53.790
Manuela Stern: You know I, I know I don't particularly really wreck.
00:46:55.530 --> 00:46:58.470
Manuela Stern: identify as a Holocaust survivor because.
00:46:59.550 --> 00:47:03.720
Manuela Stern: How it comes to mind is truly suffered a great deal more than I did.
00:47:04.770 --> 00:47:24.930
Manuela Stern: I was wondering, as you said, very fortunate ones I got out when I was young, I had a good life after that, and I think, very few scars where I think a true Holocaust survivor from those years came away with many, many scars so.
00:47:25.350 --> 00:47:27.930
Cynthia McFadden: Yes, one of the victims of the Holocaust.
00:47:28.350 --> 00:47:31.500
Cynthia McFadden: Museum in the in the sense that you lost you lost a lot.
00:47:32.130 --> 00:47:32.520
00:47:33.780 --> 00:47:47.640
Cynthia McFadden: Oh, I lost the question Okay, here we go um Okay, that this is a toss up, then he wants to know does Judaism or jewishness what does what does Judaism or jewishness me to your failure Carol on start.
00:47:48.780 --> 00:47:58.320
Caryl Stern: yeah you know that's it's an interesting question, because one of the things that my mother had her mother's candlesticks Java so and.
00:47:59.160 --> 00:48:13.470
Caryl Stern: Then she gave them to me, and they have been used frequently on Friday nights in my home and on every holiday and there is something about what my family went through that definitely.
00:48:15.450 --> 00:48:19.320
Caryl Stern: makes me value my ability to be a Jew makes me.
00:48:20.520 --> 00:48:28.080
Caryl Stern: I can't even explain it there's a comfort in a service for me there's a comfort in the familiarity of the traditions of Judaism.
00:48:28.950 --> 00:48:30.030
Cynthia McFadden: than two minutes.
00:48:30.660 --> 00:48:34.140
Caryl Stern: It was you know I and at the same time, my husband is.
00:48:35.940 --> 00:48:37.800
Caryl Stern: A recovering Catholic, but he was raised.
00:48:37.800 --> 00:48:38.340
00:48:40.290 --> 00:48:50.310
Caryl Stern: But it was important to me that our children be raised Jewish that they went to Hebrew school that they were bar mitzvah that that they had that they understood from whence they came.
00:48:51.390 --> 00:48:54.450
Cynthia McFadden: Would you mind if one of the married and on Jewish person.
00:48:55.470 --> 00:49:00.330
Caryl Stern: I married a non Jew, so I could never say to them, they can't.
00:49:01.680 --> 00:49:02.730
Caryl Stern: I don't know mama.
00:49:03.450 --> 00:49:07.560
Cynthia McFadden: She already did you give her a hassle and she was going to marry this out or not.
00:49:08.010 --> 00:49:21.870
Manuela Stern: No, no, I did not pass will have, but first of all, she was not 18 years old, so that's you know, by the time she decided to marriage, she was established in her as a whole person, but.
00:49:22.920 --> 00:49:27.690
Manuela Stern: I wanted her to think about the complications.
00:49:28.500 --> 00:49:30.660
Manuela Stern: Of the Internet.
00:49:32.580 --> 00:49:35.160
Manuela Stern: I love my son, and one that to them.
00:49:36.570 --> 00:49:41.280
Manuela Stern: they're good perfect, but no I don't hassle you.
00:49:42.780 --> 00:49:53.250
Caryl Stern: know I think my husband will tell you so when she was a teenager yeah to be Jewish and a professional and in her 20s yeah to be Jewish and by the time he came along yeah to walk you know so.
00:49:56.340 --> 00:50:08.460
Caryl Stern: Which is always been his line, but no, I think that it's an interesting question because many times now people whose children are about to intermarry or they themselves will come to me and say.
00:50:08.460 --> 00:50:08.880
Manuela Stern: You know.
00:50:09.150 --> 00:50:11.220
Caryl Stern: How do I feel about or what would I what am I.
00:50:12.330 --> 00:50:19.860
Caryl Stern: You know I don't have any work, other than I was very fortunate that my husband said, make them good Jews or I.
00:50:19.860 --> 00:50:20.370
Cynthia McFadden: Will yeah.
00:50:20.640 --> 00:50:21.750
Caryl Stern: Good Catholics like he.
00:50:22.350 --> 00:50:23.910
Cynthia McFadden: Is such a you know.
00:50:24.000 --> 00:50:33.180
Cynthia McFadden: I i'm very interested in the question, because I have many friends who say listen Cynthia we just keep into variable going to lose the you know that.
00:50:34.320 --> 00:50:39.180
Cynthia McFadden: This and that that's not that's no small matter, so it is a vibrant question.
00:50:39.180 --> 00:50:51.900
Caryl Stern: Number totally and I think you know, there are so many pieces to who and what I am and that when I got married I wasn't willing to give up who and what I was so.
00:50:51.900 --> 00:50:54.030
Caryl Stern: Late burning was never an option.
00:50:55.230 --> 00:51:06.000
Caryl Stern: But, and I was not willing to have a home without religion, yes, so you know, it was very clear that we would celebrate daddy's holidays, because they're daddy's holidays so.
00:51:06.660 --> 00:51:20.520
Caryl Stern: celebrate those two, these are our holidays will celebrate those and so he would you know, on a holiday come to a synagogue service with us, or you know when my kids were studying to be warm it's ready was participated in that and um.
00:51:20.940 --> 00:51:22.470
Cynthia McFadden: You have three boys.
00:51:22.590 --> 00:51:24.810
Cynthia McFadden: Yes, who gets the candlesticks.
00:51:25.590 --> 00:51:39.630
Caryl Stern: First, well Okay, so the oldest one is is adopted, and he came with a religion, other than Judaism, so he kept his religion, the younger to you know we'll see if they it'll be an interesting question.
00:51:41.970 --> 00:51:42.630
Manuela Stern: that's good.
00:51:48.930 --> 00:51:50.160
Manuela Stern: that's a good question.
00:51:52.680 --> 00:51:56.790
Caryl Stern: In my house, so you know, God willing to make the decision for a long time.
00:51:57.210 --> 00:52:08.430
Cynthia McFadden: All right, Arlene Apps what my mother's name is Arlene what stories you think might reach those who minimize the Holocaust and refuse to see parallels in the world today.
00:52:11.430 --> 00:52:17.730
Manuela Stern: hey you know when people when I hear people say it never happened it just.
00:52:19.560 --> 00:52:37.590
Manuela Stern: Terrible The other thing is, we must learn from it, we have to learn from this refugee problem situation, of course, the whole world today is so terrible and we have to learn to care about other people and I don't know what would have had to do that, I wish I did.
00:52:38.220 --> 00:52:38.910
Manuela Stern: I think that's.
00:52:39.180 --> 00:52:47.550
Caryl Stern: me the bigger thing is as a child, I remember asking like where was everybody How did this happen.
00:52:49.290 --> 00:52:50.340
Caryl Stern: How the world could let.
00:52:52.680 --> 00:52:53.430
Cynthia McFadden: People yeah.
00:52:54.030 --> 00:53:08.130
Caryl Stern: And some people would say well you know we knew, but we didn't know you know there wasn't TV there wasn't you know we didn't really know, and today I sit here and I think well today we know.
00:53:08.850 --> 00:53:09.690
Manuela Stern: yeah and.
00:53:10.860 --> 00:53:22.920
Caryl Stern: I you know you and I go to Central African Republic and we go in the dead zone, so you can show it on TV and show people, this is where they are, this is where they're stuck, this is the story, I mean we we.
00:53:23.160 --> 00:53:24.810
Caryl Stern: You know, we you and I heard the.
00:53:24.810 --> 00:53:29.730
Caryl Stern: story of the woman walking you know who had to bury her child on the side of the road and.
00:53:32.250 --> 00:53:44.160
Caryl Stern: You know, and like all of these stories and today we do know, and I, and I struggle with so we know and how are we letting this happen, and I, you know that we had a.
00:53:44.730 --> 00:53:57.120
Caryl Stern: legacy for me it was there was never a moment where I said, should I go work for UNICEF, or should I go work for adl it was what a privilege opportunity to actually be part of doing something about this.
00:53:58.260 --> 00:54:09.780
Cynthia McFadden: You know it's so interesting human i've talked about this to my my father was in the air force rebel or two over shot down over Germany and he was a prisoner for for two years and.
00:54:11.070 --> 00:54:22.830
Cynthia McFadden: You know that has so informed some of the things that i'm interested in covering and doing i've done lots of work on ptsd which he needless to say, returned home with and, needless to say, was diagnosed.
00:54:23.340 --> 00:54:35.190
Cynthia McFadden: And you know so that that I was thinking, as I was preparing to sit down and talk to you all, you know we all have these experiences in our past, and if we we do our best.
00:54:35.610 --> 00:54:46.560
Cynthia McFadden: When we can figure out how to give them meaning I think there's a wonderful line poetry, which is the greatest tragedy is to have the experience and miss the meaning.
00:54:50.280 --> 00:55:00.600
Cynthia McFadden: Right hold it Arthur asked what is the title of the professor's book that tells the story of him, being a boy in the hospital oh is searching for me.
00:55:01.020 --> 00:55:02.280
Manuela Stern: searching from India.
00:55:04.470 --> 00:55:08.280
Manuela Stern: yeah that's sure that's the exact title, but I think.
00:55:09.210 --> 00:55:13.770
Caryl Stern: People are searching for me, I think it's searching for me dad might be yearning for money on, but if you're.
00:55:13.770 --> 00:55:14.220
Manuela Stern: Earning.
00:55:14.280 --> 00:55:16.140
Cynthia McFadden: I think you're yearning for me on.
00:55:16.260 --> 00:55:16.860
Manuela Stern: Your name.
00:55:17.850 --> 00:55:19.710
Caryl Stern: And then the book that my mother and.
00:55:19.950 --> 00:55:23.880
Caryl Stern: My uncle and with the help of historian wrote is called minions.
00:55:24.300 --> 00:55:24.690
00:55:25.830 --> 00:55:27.450
Cynthia McFadden: Just a little bit of.
00:55:27.480 --> 00:55:43.080
Cynthia McFadden: You i'm sure Google will help us all right, they want to know more Carol David does about lessons from your work in UNICEF, but it is you know always wanted to ask you this is there, in addition to the story from.
00:55:44.400 --> 00:55:54.330
Cynthia McFadden: The refugee story is there a moment in those 14 glorious painful amazing awful years there a moment.
00:55:55.620 --> 00:55:58.890
Cynthia McFadden: That when you think of the work you think of.
00:56:03.210 --> 00:56:04.080
Caryl Stern: A lot of moments.
00:56:05.430 --> 00:56:11.100
Caryl Stern: You know I never visited and I did 45 countries in those years i'm.
00:56:11.820 --> 00:56:24.000
Caryl Stern: 45 yeah I never visited a field trip or a country in which I didn't come back with a story it's what compelled me to write my book, also um but.
00:56:24.810 --> 00:56:36.840
Caryl Stern: It just and I think I learned more from the children that I had the privilege to interact with in those years than i've learned from any formal education i've gotten anywhere.
00:56:37.500 --> 00:56:50.190
Caryl Stern: More about grace more about leadership more about what really matters um you know he's to say was almost like a field trip junkie like I would go, because I was hungry to to be with them and um.
00:56:51.420 --> 00:56:52.050
Cynthia McFadden: Well, let me.
00:56:52.380 --> 00:56:54.480
Caryl Stern: Courage defining moments.
00:56:54.570 --> 00:56:54.870
00:56:56.820 --> 00:57:01.080
Cynthia McFadden: You know, but your mother, it seems to me display so much courage and how she.
00:57:02.460 --> 00:57:09.600
Cynthia McFadden: approached her own life and so many of the kids i've been privileged to meet with you, their courage.
00:57:10.080 --> 00:57:23.520
Caryl Stern: phenomenal and I, but I do think that's The other thing is, you know my I grew up in a house where the message from my mother was always you can do anything you can be anything, the opportunities are there in yours so.
00:57:24.510 --> 00:57:32.370
Caryl Stern: You know, we were set up for success, I mean I think of all the children who never hear that Okay, and so I think that's one, I think.
00:57:32.880 --> 00:57:42.780
Caryl Stern: The other thing that I got from my 14 years that you're supposed to say there were three things the same in all 45 countries you know, the first two are funny but the last one is more serious, the first you know is that.
00:57:43.170 --> 00:57:46.500
Caryl Stern: Wherever there are children there's some kind of ball I don't know what it is.
00:57:47.640 --> 00:57:47.760
Cynthia McFadden: They.
00:57:47.820 --> 00:57:52.830
Caryl Stern: have to throw something in cat something, and they would make it out of rags sometimes but there's always a.
00:57:53.070 --> 00:58:01.980
Caryl Stern: Always you know, the second thing that I learned in those 14 years is that my lap isn't my property that if you sit on the ground, a kid will sit on you and they.
00:58:03.480 --> 00:58:11.820
Caryl Stern: You know, they just know this is a soft place maybe it's because i'm chubby I don't know but a kid will always sit on you and that before they get up they hug you and it's like.
00:58:12.390 --> 00:58:19.080
Caryl Stern: that's the best part of every day, you know you're in this refugee camp and you're sad and it's hard and it's hot and there's guns and.
00:58:19.980 --> 00:58:29.220
Caryl Stern: And then it kids it's down on you and you know and or like you know you start playing music and your dance, or we played soccer I don't know how many refugee camps and i'm a terrible soccer player, but.
00:58:29.400 --> 00:58:37.860
Caryl Stern: you're out there running and you forget where you are because you're playing with kids so that's like the second lesson, but the third thing that I think I saw in every country.
00:58:38.430 --> 00:58:45.450
Caryl Stern: Is that we really all want the same things for kids you know that's not defined by our race or religion or gender, our.
00:58:45.960 --> 00:58:58.410
Caryl Stern: Our geography, you know we want our kids to be safe, we want them to you know be educated, we want them to you know, have a hot meal and get to sleep under a warm blanket.
00:58:58.920 --> 00:59:06.510
Caryl Stern: We want them to wake up tomorrow, and then we want them to dream these amazingly big dreams and have a chance to make them come true.
00:59:07.110 --> 00:59:16.230
Caryl Stern: And that is not that's being an adult who cares about kids and so, when I look at the world, I think we have become.
00:59:16.680 --> 00:59:27.420
Caryl Stern: we've forgotten that in a lot of ways, like we only we only think about it when we're forced to think about it, and, as opposed to saying like right now, our country is so divided.
00:59:28.560 --> 00:59:32.880
Caryl Stern: And we're forgetting about how important it is to reunite not just to be right.
00:59:33.540 --> 00:59:34.140
Cynthia McFadden: and
00:59:34.620 --> 00:59:42.630
Caryl Stern: To find common solutions not to always have to have common ground, and you know that the we've got big problems to solve, and that.
00:59:43.020 --> 00:59:53.460
Caryl Stern: The legacy I think of all of these horrific historic events is that we haven't solved them and that we have a chance, each time to do it better we choose to.
00:59:54.780 --> 01:00:01.410
Cynthia McFadden: amen to that sister well I wish I wish I could give you both a hug and say thank you, I know our.
01:00:01.410 --> 01:00:02.430
Manuela Stern: audience you.
01:00:02.460 --> 01:00:03.990
Back saying anyway.
01:00:05.100 --> 01:00:09.030
Cynthia McFadden: keep going maybe we'll let them go now we'll just chat and we.
01:00:10.530 --> 01:00:12.000
Cynthia McFadden: Really, thank you.
01:00:13.590 --> 01:00:15.870
Caryl Stern: Thank you Cindy doing this thing.
01:00:15.900 --> 01:00:16.500
Cynthia McFadden: Thank you.
01:00:16.530 --> 01:00:16.800
01:00:17.850 --> 01:00:19.860
Cynthia McFadden: You for the privilege of being here was really.
01:00:21.570 --> 01:00:29.340
Ari Goldstein: behalf of the Museum of Jewish heritage and the overland gail institute Thank you so much to simply mcfadden Caryl stern and midwestern for today's.
01:00:30.510 --> 01:00:31.680
Ari Goldstein: Thank you Helen can.
01:00:32.310 --> 01:00:42.330
Ari Goldstein: You really are an amazing and inspiring example of taking a very dark history and making something light and beautiful out of it, so we can all learn from you and your family story.
01:00:42.930 --> 01:00:50.640
Ari Goldstein: I also want to thank or lean in the audience for that question about how to reach people, because that is what we do every day at the museum at the logo and delancey to.
01:00:50.850 --> 01:00:58.770
Ari Goldstein: teaching the history of the past in order to forge a better world today, so we thank all of you in the audience, who are donors volunteers.
01:00:59.100 --> 01:01:05.340
Ari Goldstein: In both of our work, we invite those of you who are new to our organizations to get involved and learn more at the links in the zoom chat.
01:01:06.240 --> 01:01:15.450
Ari Goldstein: We will send out an email tomorrow that includes a link to a recording of today's discussion using YouTube channel, so you can also revisit this discussion leader.
01:01:17.610 --> 01:01:18.180
01:01:19.950 --> 01:01:20.520
Manuela Stern: Thank you.
01:01:20.850 --> 01:01:21.150
Ari Goldstein: Thank you.
Learn About the MS St. Louis
In May 1939, more than 930 Jewish refugees—including Manuela Stern’s father—fled the Third Reich aboard the MS St. Louis. After being turned away by Cuba and the United States, the ship was forced to return to Europe. More than 250 of its passengers ultimately died in the Holocaust. Learn more about the story of the St. Louis in this Museum program with Armando Lucas Correa.
Discover a St. Louis Survival Story
As a small child, Judith Koeppel Steel was one of the Jewish refugees aboard the MS St. Louis. When the ship was forced to return to Europe, Steel disembarked in Belgium and was imprisoned in the Gurs internment camp. Both her parents were murdered at Auschwitz, but Steel survived the war in hiding with a French Catholic couple. Discover the rest of Steel’s story here.
Read Caryl Stern’s Insights From UNICEF
As President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Caryl Stern traveled the world seeking to reduce the number of preventable deaths of children under the age of five from 19,000 each day to zero. She reflects on her tenure there in the 2014 memoir I Believe in Zero: Learning from the World’s Children. Order your copy of the book here.