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Counting on America: A Conversation with Author Gary Reiner

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Our Fall Learning Series concludes with Gary Reiner and his Holocaust memoir of terror, chutzpah, romance, and escape.

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Join our final Fall Learning Series event with author Gary Reiner, son of Holocaust survivors Kurt and Hennie. In his book, Counting on America: Counting on America: A Holocaust Memoir of Terror, Chutzpah, Romance, and Escape, Reiner illustrates the escalation of antisemitism following Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938 (the Anschluss) and the obstacles Jewish refugees faced trying to reach the shores of America.

"Dedicated to brave refugees from all over the world." - Gary Reiner

In response to the Nazi invasion, newlyweds Kurt and Hennie Reiner flee Vienna. Their urgency to find safe haven accelerates when Kurt is imprisoned in Dachau. He is released but threatened with certain arrest unless he can find a legal way out of Germany. As the couple scramble to obtain visas, they are conscripted for work at Fischamend, an SS monitored farm labor camp. Next, their arduous escape path leads them to Marseille. After France declares war on Germany, Kurt is arrested as a “foreign enemy” and interned in a French prison. When their plan to emigrate to the United States is again thwarted, chutzpah, divine intervention, and their romantic commitment deliver salvation.

This program is not recommended for children under 13.

This talk is presented in partnership with Classrooms Without Borders. To learn more about the JFCS Holocaust Center, please visit our website.

The Fall Learning Series is a part of the JFCS Holocaust Center's Simon Preisler Learning Series and a program of the JFCS Preisler Shorenstein Institute for Holocaust Education. The JFCS Holocaust Center is funded through the generous support of individuals, foundation grants, and program fees. See our funders.

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