In memory of Lisa Avedon
I attended the memorial service for another Holocaust survivor this past week. Lisa Avedon escaped from Germany with her family on the eve of Kristallnacht. She was a passenger on board the S.S. St. Louis, the ill-fated ship that was turned away from every port in North and South America (including Halifax) before being forced to return to Europe. Roughly half the passengers on board perished in the death camps of Europe. Lisa and her family were among the lucky survivors. I wrote about her in my book, To Hope and Back; the journey of the St. Louis
As an adult, Lisa did graduate work at the University of Minnesota and later at Columbia University Teachers College in New York City. She moved to Canada in the 1970s where her interest and commitment to the women’s movement led her to work for the Canadian Congress for Learning Opportunities for Women. She was an active leader in Canada’s National Organization of Women and published many articles on labour issues, women, and education.
I was privileged to spend many hours with Lisa, going over the details of her remarkable life and listening to her stories. She was incredibly smart, articulate, strong-spirited, and passionate about so many things. Hers is one more voice of the Holocaust that sadly has been lost.