Lorie Mayer

Lorie Mayer pictured with her grandfather, Berl

Lorie Mayer pictured with her grandfather, Berl

Date of Birth:  March 13, 1927

Lorie was an only child who grew up in the town of Eberswalde, Germany where her parents owned a clothing store.  When Hitler came to power in Germany, Lorie noticed that things in her town gradually began to change.  Any “acquaintances that were not Jewish were not allowed to associate anymore.”

On November 9, 1938, a crowd gathered in front of her family’s store.  “This crowd grew and not only were they singing the national anthem and their slogans about killing Jews but they were yelling, “Jews come out, we want to kill you.'”  Their family business and synagogue were destroyed during Kristallnacht.

After moving to Berlin by herself for a year to continue her studies, Lorie immigrated to Chicago with her mother in the winter of 1939 while her father was sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.   In 1940, Lorie’s father joined them in Chicago but died a year later as a result of his experience at the concentration camp.

In July 1946, Lorie married Henry, a WWII Veteran, and they had a son and daughter.   After moving to Florida in 1976 with her husband, Lorie began sharing her experience with students and was involved with the founding of the Holocaust Museum and Education Center of Southwest Florida.  As Museum Curator and Historian, Lorie believes the most important lesson for mankind to learn from the Holocaust is “to have understanding for other people, to treat other people like you would like to be treated, not to hate anyone for whatever reason.”

Lorie discusses her experience with anti-Semitism while in school:

Lorie talks about her first-hand experience during Kristallnacht:

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