The Oakwood School is honored to have Dr. Geralyn (Geri) Crain, the daughter of Holocaust survivor Alice Kern, join the Oakwood community to talk about her mother’s experience in Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen concentration camps on Thursday, April 26. Alice Kern published her memoir “Tapestry of Hope” when Dr. Crain was a young adult. The memoir was written in the spirit of Anne Frank’s diary, as they were both in the same concentration camps at the same time. Although Anne Frank tragically died before the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, Alice Kern lived to tell the world what really happened in her memoir.
Dr. Geralyn Crain is an Assistant Dean at the School of Dental Medicine and the interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Interprofessional Collaboration at East Carolina University. Dr. Crain moved to Greenville in 2011 from Kansas City where she received her Ph.D. in organizational development after first practicing dentistry in her hometown of Portland, Oregon.
Growing up with her 3 sisters in Portland, they always knew their parents were a little different because of their accents, traditions, and because they didn’t talk very much about their own childhoods or extended family. It wasn’t until Geri was a young adult in dental school when her mother published her memoir of growing up in Romania and being taken to two Nazi concentration camps. After the book was published, Geri accompanied her mother to dozens of schools, churches, conferences and other venues where her mom shared her incredible story of survival and courage.
Today, Dr. Crain continues to share her mother’s story because she feels it is important not to forget the lessons of the past, and because, sadly, those lessons are still relevant today.