Community Briefs: Holocaust Survivor Dies and More

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Holocaust Survivor Anneliese Nossbaum Dies at 91

Anneliese Nossbaum
Anneliese Nossbaum speaks in 2018 (Photo by Selah Maya Zighelboim)

Holocaust survivor Anneliese Nossbuam, who just three months earlier flew to Krakow, Poland to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation, died March 23, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. She was 91.

Born Jan. 8 in Guben, Germany as Anneliese Winterberg, her town’s synagogue was burned by Nazis and civilians on Kristallnacht on Nov. 10, 1938. Her family was moved in 1942 to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, with her father, Siegfried, dying at a Dachau satellite camp in 1944.

Nossbaum was taken to Auschwitz in late 1944, where her aunt died. Later, she and her mother, Irmgard, were moved to Mauthausen, a concentration camp liberated in the spring of 1945, although her mother died of tuberculosis shortly thereafter.

Nossbaum immigrated alone at 17 to the United States, eventually marrying Martin Nossbaum, raising two children and living in Mt. Airy and then Jenkintown.

Nossbaum didn’t begin speaking about the Holocaust until 1971, but was regular speaker from that point on.

In 2018, she spoke at the dedication of Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. In a Jewish Exponent article, she said her speech was a tribute to her family.

“When I speak to students, my message to them is this: Try to understand other people,” she said. “Try to be tolerant, be kind and maybe even a little bit loving. Know right from wrong, and demand justice.”

A 2016 Exponent article noted that Nossbaum participated in a Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Women’s Philanthropy group mission to Poland and Israel. The group joined 18,000 participants worldwide on the March of the Living, walking from Auschwitz to Birkenau.

Philadelphia Gay News Gets Historical Marker

A commemorative marker for the Philadelphia Gay News was approved in March by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, joining nearly 2,300 of the familiar blue-with-gold-lettering signs across Pennsylvania.

The Gay News sign reads: “First published in 1976, this early newspaper of the LGBTQ community was an outlet for intracommunication when few others were available. It served as a community-building vehicle at a time when the LGBTQ rights movement was still forming. At the outbreak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it became a lifesaving source for a community in need. It is now the most-awarded LGBTQ publication in the nation.”

The Gay News was founded in 1976 by Mark Segal, who remains its publisher.

“I’m humbled and honored since it wasn’t that long ago the LGBT community was invisible and now this marker recognizes not only our community but our fight against discrimination in all its forms,” Segal said.

NextGen Plans Virtual Shabbat

NextGen and numerous other organizations are planning a virtual Shabbat dinner for 6:30 p.m. on April 3.

NextGen is partnering with Neshama Hadassah, the Grad Network, Repair the World, the two local Moishe Houses, Tribe 12, and Jewish Professionals of Suburban Philadelphia.

Before the call, NextGen will distribute a resource page including the partnering groups’ upcoming community events, followed by a d’var and a rundown of our emergency fund and volunteer opportunities.

Each group will then lead a prayer, song or Shabbat tradition with some brief commentary followed by a discussion question.

To sign up for the dinner, visit jewishphilly.org/virtualshabbat.

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