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.

Dr. Charles Moser: Tracing my Parents’ Past Lives
Sunday, August 25 •  2-4 p.m. •  Hosted by the Excelsior German Center, 1699 Excelsior Avenue, Oakland, CA 94602   RSVP by August 19, 2019

Dr. Charles MoserMy mother always said that Sunday babies are destined to be lucky. This was certainly true for me, born in the United States in late 1939 to Jewish immigrants. Deprived of their professional lives and their citizenship by the Nazis, my parents escaped from a region of Eastern Germany that’s now part of Poland. Thanks to American cousins, who signed affidavits in support of my father. He arrived in New York 1936 and my mother followed in 1937.

Dr. Moser and grandaughter HarperThey spoke frequently about their past lives, but as a child, I was more interested in baseball. Now, much later, researching their origins in Silesia and their ancestral roots in Province Posen, I’ve solved some riddles that arose from the tangle of Polish, Prussian and German history.

My younger brother and I grew up first in Queens, New York, and then in suburban New Jersey. I moved to San Francisco for training in Internal Medicine.

My parents would be quite shocked — although probably accepting — if they knew that our younger daughter had married a German man and has lived happily in Berlin for the last two years. Under the post-WWII German constitution, their children and grandchildren were entitled to restoration of German citizenship taken by the Nazis. Both of our daughters (and their daughters) have reclaimed it. Our 9-year-old granddaughter in Berlin is as fluent in German as in English.

(photos courtesty of Dr. Charles Moser. Left: Dr. Moser, right: Dr. Moser and granddaughter Harper)





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

2019 marks the twelfth 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, Loren Norman, and many others, GICS has hosted 43 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 Anna Rabkin Jude Bell and Bindy 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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