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How the Holocaust shaped three generations of women

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When Mignon Langnas, a nurse in a Jewish children’s hospital in Vienna, sent her small son and daughter on a ship to the United States after the Nazi invasion in 1939, she had no idea when — or if — she’d ever see them again.

It was an agonizing choice, but her own ailing parents and patients needed her, and she know her children were no longer safe in Austria.

Today, more than 80 years later, Mignon Langnas has a park named after her in Vienna, and both her daughter, Manuela “Manny” Stern, and her granddaughter, Caryl Mignon Stern, have proudly continued the legacy of human rights activism and philanthropy instilled in them from a very early age.

Caryl, formerly a top official at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), spent 13 years as president and CEO of UNICEF USA — from 2006 to 2019 — before assuming her current position as executive director of the Walton Family Foundation. While at UNICEF, she advocated tirelessly for US government support of the agency and traveled the world raising funds for children devastated by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the 2011 drought in East Africa, and untold numbers of refugees from conflicts and climate disasters. Caryl Stern, former CEO of UNICEF USA, mingles with schoolchildren during a September 2012 field visit to Kenya. (Photo courtesy of UNICEF)

On Nov. 18, Caryl and her mother appeared in an online panel co-sponsored by The Olga Lengyel Institute (TOLI) and New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage — and moderated by NBC senior correspondent Cynthia McFadden — to discuss the incredible path both their lives have taken.

“The museum was founded 25 years ago as a living memorial to the Holocaust, an institution dedicated to remembrance, education and renewal,” said the museum’s president and CEO, Jack Kliger, in introducing the panel. “There are few better people who embody this notion than our featured guests today.”

Harry Wall, a member of TOLI’s board of directors, said more than 3,500 teachers across the United States and in 10 European countries have taken the nonprofit organization’s Holocaust education seminars since its founding in 2006.

“At a time of rising........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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