Edith Stein, 97, of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania is a Holocaust survivor. Born and raised within a Jewish family in Vienna, Austria, she remembers a slow rise of social bigotry and cultural brutality against Jews and others deemed “undesirable.” Fascism’s grip on Europe then, as now, she contemplates, was inspired. People learned to hate their neighbors, friends, and countrymen if they were identified as enemies of the state.
Sensing the inevitable in 1938, Edith’s parents sent her and her brother to the United States for safe keeping with relatives. Edith would never see them again.
“I couldn’t do anything for my parents,” she laments. “I feel guilty for surviving.”
This interview was recorded May 2, 2016 at the Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Interviewer: Todd DePastino. Special Thanks: Edith Stein, Audrey Higbee, Nick Grimes, John Paul Deley, Senator John Heinz History Center. A production of the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative. Executive Producer: Kevin Farkas. Videography: Kevin Farkas, Bryan Chemini. Editor: Jonathan Stile. ©VVoPOHI. All Rights Reserved.
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