Mündliche Geschichtsreihe / Oral History Series

We are inviting individuals from our community to share their life’s stories and dialogue with participants. Meetings are facilitated by Dr. Marion Gerlind. Order and pre-pay for tickets below. For more information and reservations, email Marion or call (510) 430-2673. To see previous speakers and topics, click here, or scroll down to see pictures of our speakers and click to see their summary.

RSVP required. Teilnahmebeitrag: $20, GICS Mitglieder: $10, wenn möglich, aber nicht obligatorisch. (Suggested contribution: $20, GICS Members: $10, no one turned away for lack of funds.)


The Oral History Series is a project of the Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building community through dialogue and the arts. We invite women and men from our community to share their life's stories and dialogue with the audience, promoting cross-cultural understanding. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Visit http://www.gerlindinstitute.org for more information on donations and membership.


Jude Bell and Bindi
Jude Bell, photo: © 2019 Marion Gerlind

Jude Bell: Berlin and I Have Changed
April 28, 2019 • 2-4 •  Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies •  RSVP by April 17, 2019

Jude Bell, born and raised in a small town in Central Washington, made a much-desired transition to urban life when she moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington in 1969. She earned two BA’s: one in German Language and Literature, the other an Independent Studies degree, “Psychology and Literature: a Jungian Analysis of Hermann Hesse’s Damian.” 

After completing her undergraduate studies in 1975, Jude was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study at the Universität Hamburg. It was during her year in Hamburg that she first traveled to Berlin, then a divided city. Experiencing the sharp contrast between East and West Berlin was the beginning of her passion for this major European metropolis.

That first visit was followed by many more, and she witnessed the immense changes which Berlin experienced over the course of the following forty years—from divided city to a jubilantly reunited city and eventually as the new capital of Germany. As she said, “I celebrated my 50th birthday in Berlin, because I wanted to be in a city that had changed as much as I had.”

Jude is currently studying advanced German at the Gerlind Institute, and in 2016 she co-led an educational tour of Hamburg and Berlin along with Dr. Marion Gerlind, Director of the Gerlind  Institute.

photo courtesy of Anna Rabkin
photo courtesy of Anna Rabkin

Anna Rabkin: “Survival is sweet revenge”– A displaced child's search for identity and belonging
June 9, 2019 •  2-4 •  Hosted at the Taoist Center, 3824 MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland •  RSVP by June 3, 2019

Anna Rabkin was born in Krakow, Poland; the outbreak of World War II forced her family to flee the invading German army. Her family was hunted by Communists and persecuted by the Nazis, only Anna and her brother survived. 

After the war, a Kindertransport brought Anna to England. Adopted by relatives, she emigrated first to New York and then, with her husband, to the political hotbed of Berkeley. While a student at UCB, she raised two children, worked in local politics, and in 1979 was elected to city office. When she retired, Anna chaired the Berkeley Public Library Foundation’s capital campaign for the Downtown Library.

The author of From Krakow to Berkeley: Coming out of Hiding, and co-author with Marty Rabkin of Public Libraries: Travel Treasures of the American West, she holds master’s degrees in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and in History from California State University, East Bay. 





Support Our Oral History Series!

elana levy
elana levy (middle)
Cynthia James
Cynthia James
Annegret Ogden
Annegret Ogden
Monica Clyde at EGC
audience at Dr. Monica Clyde's presentation

2018 marked the eleventh anniversary of the GICS Oral History Series, which has become the touchstone of our community programs. It grew from Dr. Gerlind’s passion for interviewing Holocaust survivors whose stories were at risk of being lost. Inspired by their lives, the Gerlind Institute continues to bring unforgettable speakers from in and outside our Bay Area community. We have witnessed their voices and stories, and have been transformed. We are incredibly grateful to every speaker, co-sponsor, and audience participant from the past ten years!

Through the dedicated volunteer work of the Gerlind Institute's team, especially JB, Aaron Woeste, Loren Norman, and many others, GICS has hosted 41 Oral Histories since 2007—no small feat for a grassroots organization such as ours, which relies completely on community support!

Despite all the work that goes into organizing each event, admission remains accessible, as we want everyone to participate. No one is turned away for lack of funds. The Series is primarily funded through income from the GICS teaching program, memberships, and donations. With the generosity of volunteers, participants and speakers—many of whom have donated their honoraria—we have been able to sustain our Series.

We are calling on you, our community, to support your Series through your generosity, as we hope you benefit directly, or indirectly, through Gerlind Institute’s educational services.  Please help secure our Oral History Series' sustainability by becoming a GICS member in 2019. Visit www.gerlindinstitute.org/membership.html, or click here. You can also make a tax-deductible donation. Visit www.gerlindinstitute.org/donate.html, or click here.

Your act of generosity, whether large or small, will build fiscal stability and enable us to create more unique programming.

We will apply your donation to the costs of upcoming events.

We are grateful for any amount you are kindly willing to give and your continued support as a GICS community member! We look forward to welcoming you to an upcoming event!

Click the images below to access our archive.
          photo courtesy of Ilse Eden
Brigitte Schulze Pilibosian photo courtesy of Inge Horton photo courtesy of Ilse Eden INgrid Kepler-May Daniel Polikoff Pastorin Kerstin Weidmann
Peter Erlenwein photo Travis Fetter Ingird Peterson Ingrid Veit Alexander Feng
Monica Clyde Annegret Ogden Bridge Markland Dr. Marion Gerlind Dr. Michaela Grobbel Elana Levy
Ika Huegel-Marshall Michael Bachmann Birgit Mahner Dr. Miriam Zimmermann Leah Sharp Dr. Werner Loewenstein
Leticia Andreas-Wolf Angelika Quirk Dr. Berta Maria Hines Susanne Batzdorff Community Roundtable
Elana Levy Madhuri Anji Bernhard Ruchti Cinthia James Toahna Meier Ralph Samuelson
Frieda Gordon Dilloo Rita Goldhor Leo Mark Horovitz Wine Seminar Sabrina Zimmering Kia Hügel-Marshall
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