Grandmother’s Holocaust years detailed in journal

Posted on December 8, 2022

The anti-Semitism that fanned the flames of the Holocaust is “still here — I feel like you see it more and more every day,” said Courtney Doi, which is one of the reasons she said she is so intent on telling the story of her grandmother, Judith Klein, and her family.

“I am the chosen family historian, and getting her words out is very important to me,” said Doi, who discussed Klein’s journey out of Germany as a teenage refugee, her extended family’s experiences across Europe before, during, and after World War II, and Doi’s own travels to Germany to further understand her family history Wednesday at the Fayetteville Public Library.

“It’s a miracle I’m here to tell this story, [and] it makes me so happy that folks here — and in other pockets of the country — get to know [Klein’s] story.”

Doi, who lives in North Carolina, discusses her grandmother and family often at schools and other events, as she believes it can be easier for some people to comprehend the Holocaust through the personal tale of one individual, she said. She’s heard people say, “it must be real if it happened to this person.”

Klein was one of thousands of children and adolescents — she was the 680th youth to be signed up for the Kindertransport — the operation to evacuate Jewish children from Nazi-controlled areas of Europe to the United Kingdom between 1938 and 1940 — who escaped Germany as the country’s persecution of Jews became increasingly pernicious, Doi said.

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