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Annual Margot Jeremias Memorial Kristallnacht Commemoration Lecture

The Margot Jeremias Memorial Kristallnacht Commemoration Lecture is an annual lecture planned to coincide with Kristallnacht (November 9-10) dedicated to perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust in general and the events of Kristallnacht in particular. This annual lecture is dedicated in loving memory of Margot Jeremias by her family, Helen & Les Loew.

Margot Jeremias was only 12 years old on that infamous November night. Kristallnacht, for her, represented the moments that would irrevocably alter the course of her life. Born in 1926, Margot Jeremias survived the Holocaust, came to America and raised two daughters, seven grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren. She devoted her life to telling her story as a Holocaust survivor and teaching the next generation about peace, tolerance, and standing up in the face of evil.

To access our lecture archive or listen to a past lecture, click here.

More About Margot's Life

Margot Jeremias (nee Gunther) was born in Heidelberg, Germany on February 10, 1926. She grew up in a small village near Heidelberg named Hoffenheim, where her parents owned a dry-goods business. After Hitler and the Nazis came to power, Margot began to experience discrimination; the other children bullied her and soon she was no longer allowed to attend German schools. In 1938, her sister, Inge (aged 17) moved to the United States but Margot and her family stayed in Hoffenheim.

On November 9-10, 1938, Kristallnacht, her father was arrested and imprisoned in Dachau for 5 weeks along with the adult Jewish males of Hoffenheim. On October 22, 1940, Margot (age 14) and her parents were deported to the Gurs internment camp in Vichy, France. She lived in a children’s camp for six months, then transferred to Rivesaltes on April 20, 1941 before she was taken to a French Jewish scouts camp (Eclaireurs Israelites Francais). Her parents were sent to Drancy (near Paris) in August 1942 and then deported to Auschwitz where they were likely murdered on arrival.

With the help of the French Underground (and two women code-named Sultane and Chevre-Feuille) Margot was sheltered for a year at Riscle convent using a false identity and then worked as a maid for a non-Jewish family (Malan) in Brives until the war ended. After the liberation of France (in fall 1944), Margot returned to a children’s home in Moissac operated by the OSE, where she spent two years before finally managing to reunite with her sister in New York City. Margot married a German Jew (Martin Jeremias) who had served in the intelligence service with the U.S. Army in WWII. They raised their family in New York City, two daughters, seven grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren (and counting) and as Margot says, “all from little old me.”


Watch Margot tell her story below.


Friends Would Not Speak to Me

Fear Never Left Me

Deported to Internment Camps

Going into Hiding

Placed in a Convent

What Happened to My Parents



Listen To A Recording (click here) | View Powerpoint (click here)

  • 5779/2018 - Rabbi Brahm Weinberg on From Monuments to Memory: The Responsibility of Holocaust Remembrance in our Time

Listen To A Recording (click here) | View Powerpoint (click here)

Thu, June 20 2024 14 Sivan 5784