Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Celebrating Women and Sharing Personal Stories of Survival

One of our warmest annual events is fast approaching. The Spring Women’s Luncheon will take place on Thursday, June 2 at the Pierre Hotel. This year’s event welcomes Auschwitz survivor Stella Levi to share her story of growing up on the Aegean island of Rhodes and her life before, during, and after the war.

Mrs. Levi, an Italian citizen, was born in 1926, the youngest in a Sephardic family of seven children. By 1938 five of Stella’s siblings had already emigrated, but as her father was too ill to travel, Stella, her mother, and her older sister stayed behind. In September 1943 German troops occupied the island. In August 1944, the 1,700 Jewish citizens of Rhodes were shipped to Athens and then to Auschwitz where Stella’s parents were killed. In October 1944, Stella and her sister were sent to Landsberg and then to Turkheim, a sub-camp of Dachau. Near the end of the war, they were on a death march that took them to a satellite camp of Dachau outside of Munich where they were liberated by American troops in May 1945. Of the 1,700 men, women, and children deported from Rhodes, only 152 survived.

In 1947, Stella and her sister arrived in New York where they joined other family members who had immigrated before the war.

Please join us to hear Stella’s inspiring story in her own words at this very special event that celebrate all survivors. The Spring Women's Luncheon raises money for the Museum Community Fund, which provides access for those that cannot afford Museum admission.

For more information, contact Shari Segel at 646.437.4322 or email ssegel@mjhnyc.org.

image: Stella Levi, as a child, with her older sister, Selma (right), and friend, Louisa Hasson, Rhodes, c. 1929. Gift of Stella Levi, Yaffa Eliach Collection donated by the Center for Holocaust Studies.

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