In 1930, twenty-six-year-old Liesl Herbst was the Austrian National Tennis Champion and a celebrity in Vienna. Despite her well-known status, Liesl, her husband David, and their child Dorli were forced to flee the Nazis and escape to Britain. In London, stripped of their Austrian passports and declared “stateless aliens,” Liesl and Dorli competed at Wimbledon, becoming the only mother-daughter team to have ever played doubles together in the tournament.
Liesl’s granddaughter, Felice Hardy, author of The Tennis Champion Who Escaped the Nazis, will discuss her grandmother’s moving story of escape and survival, and her own search for her identity as she uncovered more of her family’s history in the writing process.
Felice Hardy is a journalist and author. As a travel writer, Felice has toured the world for a variety of publications including Guardian, Telegraph, Condé Nast Traveler and British Airways’ High Life magazine. She co-edits the ski information website Welove2ski and hosts the podcast Action Packed Travel.
Michael Eberstadt is a born and raised New Yorker. His father, Walter Eberstadt, was a German Jew whose immediate family emigrated to England before the War and his mother, Vera Kuffner, was a Viennese Jew who fled Austria with her mother just before the Anschluss. Michael is married to Nina Beattie with whom he has two children, Max and Zoe. He is currently in the restaurant business as a partner in Charles Pan-Fried Chicken which has four locations on the Upper West Side and Harlem and is also an aspiring playwright whose current play tells the story of five generations of Jewish women.