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. We acknowledge the financial support of generous Gerlind Institute donors and the Excelsior German Center.

To review our previous speakers and descriptions, click here.
To see our Archive of videos and trailers, click here.

RSVP required. Suggested donations: GICS Members: $10 • General Public: $15-20 (no one turned away for lack of funds)

  • Click above for PayPal

    or directly via PayPal.me/gics2006


The Oral History Series is a project of the Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the teaching and promotion of German Cultural Studies. We invite members 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 our donations page, at www.gerlindinstitute.org for more information on donations.
Saturday, January 22, 2022 • 7-9:00 p.m PT •  Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies • via ZOOM

Encore Presentation: Karen Wolff–How Growing Up as a Child of Holocaust Survivors Has Shaped My Life
Saturday, January 22, 2022 • 7-9:00 p.m. via ZOOM •  RSVP by January 17 •  Photo of Karen Wolff © JB

As a child of Holocaust survivors, I was confronted with challenging tasks. I needed to learn to be “an American” yet respect my parents and their values. I was raised with a political perspective and an awareness of the power of prejudice. How could I apply this to my life?

Raised by two refugees from the Nazis—my mother from Berlin, my father from Metz. They had both been politically active before they were forced to leave, my father was a lawyer for labor unions and a Social Democrat. My mother was forced to leave high school and joined the communist movement. She was a messenger.

I struggled with how to be an American culturally and find a place in a work world that felt safe for me. I look forward to sharing my observations.

Karen Wolff grew up in New Rochelle, New York and has a brother, Richard. After college she lived in Paris with a cousin and her family for a year. After traveling around Europe for a few months, she returned to the United States and started a regional magnet high school with a group of teachers in New Haven, CT. Karen taught public high school history for 24 years, then acted as principal for six years. In 2008, she moved to California and was the principal of a charter school in Oakland for a year. Her three sons now live in California and they are very close.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have moved our in-person Oral History events to ZOOM. If you have any questions, or concerns, please contact JB at info@gerlindinstitute.org




Support Our Oral History Series!

Annegret Ogden
Annegret Ogden, 2013
Monica Clyde at EGC
audience at Dr. Monica Clydes presentation, 2014

2022 marks the fifteenth 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 team, especially JB, Loren Norman, and many others, GICS has hosted 56 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 memberships and donations. With the generosity of volunteers, participants and speakers—many of whom have donated their time and expertise—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 2021. 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!

back to top | Klönschnack Archive