Santa Barbara Village is pleased to announce the launch of its new speakers series, The Faces of Santa Barbara Village, with “Two Refugees from Hitler’s Germany: One Gentile, One Jewish” from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center, 524 Chapala St. in Santa Barbara.
The event is free, and all are welcome.
Santa Barbara Village members Eva Menkin and Ursula Mahlendorf were both refugees from Hitler’s Germany, but under very different circumstances. Each has authored a book about her experience: A Moving Experience: A Personal History and The Shame of Survival: Working Through a Nazi Childhood, respectively.
The community is invited to join us as they share with us, and answer questions about, the most important parts of their journeys as refugees.
Menkin is a retired marriage and family therapist who had a private practice in Santa Barbara for 20 years. She was also a consultant to various agencies such as the Arthritis Foundation, the Sanctuary House, the Alzheimer’s Foundation and other nonprofit organizations. She has four children, two stepchildren and 11 grandchildren.
She is the author of A Moving Experience: A Personal History and co-author, with Dr. Ben Weininger, of Aging is a Lifelong Affair.
Mahlendorf came to the United States from Germany in 1950 as a Fulbright student at Brown University, where she got her master’s degree and Ph.D. in English and German literature. She taught at UCSB from 1958 to 1995 in the departments of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies, and Women’s Studies. Her specialty was German literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, with special interest in child abuse in German literary works, psychoanalytic approaches to literature, and German literature dealing with the Nazi past.
In 2009, she published her autobiography, The Shame of Survival: Working Through a Nazi Childhood.
Through this speakers series, Santa Barbara Village members and volunteers will share parts of their individual histories and life stories with members of our community. These presentations will give people a sense of who Santa Barbara Village members and volunteers are, and will provide a wonderful avenue for the greater Santa Barbara community to get to know some of the interesting elders and community volunteers who live among us.
Santa Barbara Village is a nonprofit membership organization that serves as an alternative to a retirement or assisted-living facility for seniors who wish to remain at home as long as possible. Click here for more information on Santa Barbara Village, or call 805.729.8828.
— Naomi Kovacs is executive director of the Santa Barbara Village.