August 3, 1927
|Residence||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Alma mater||University of Washington|
|Occupation||Linguist and writer|
|Known for||Holocaust survivor|
(m. 1947; died 2011)
Laureen Nussbaum (born Hannelore Klein, August 3, 1927) is a German-born American linguist and writer. She is best known for being a Holocaust survivor, a Holocaust educator and for being a childhood friend of the famed memoirist Anne Frank. Nussbaum is frequently consulted on Anne Frank works and literature.
Nussbaum was a professor of Foreign Languages and Literature at Portland State University. After retirement Nussbaum now lectures on the Holocaust, Anne Frank and her experience during World War II. While at Portland State, she also became the head of the German section of the Foreign Language Department. Nussbaum's publications on 20th-century German literature are often referenced in academia.
Friendship with Anne Frank
Nussbaum was born Hannelore Klein in Frankfurt, Germany. As Germany became increasingly hostile toward Jews, Nussbaum's family moved from Frankfurt to Amsterdam in 1936. In her new neighborhood, Nussbaum met Anne Frank. Nussbaum's family and the Frank family had been friends in Frankfurt, though Nussbaum had not known the Frank children at that time. Nussbaum became closest to Anne's sister Margot. While growing up together, Nussbaum remembers Anne as "vivacious and smart", though the two were not particularly close. In fact, Nussbaum was "rather indifferent" about Anne, considering her a "noisy chatterbox" and "a shrimp".
After Anne and most of her family were killed, Nussbaum remained close to Otto Frank, Anne's father and the only surviving member of Anne's immediate family. Otto was the best man at Nussbaum's wedding to Rudi.
Nussbaum has written about the fact that different versions of Frank's diary have been released, some with pages missing and some with only passages removed. Otto has been criticized in the media for the way in which the manuscripts have been handled, with Nussbaum commenting "He was headstrong and misled people on the content." She also stated "Otto should be congratulated for probably being the first to publish a document from the Holocaust."
Of the memory that she keeps of Anne, Nussbaum stated in 1995 "Memory easily fools you and my memory is coloured, inevitably, by the fact that she has become so famous. I always found her lively and keen, but would never have thought she would turn into this icon. I am afraid the icon has become, for some people, a source of income and the person Anne is obscured by this. She stands as a symbolic figure upon whom the world can heap both its guilt and its commiseration."
The Klein family moved to Amsterdam in 1936 to escape the increasing antisemitism in Germany. When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands in 1940, however, Jews were barred from many public places and in 1942 were forced to wear yellow stars on their clothing to denote their ethnicity. At the time of the invasion Nussbaum was fourteen.
The Klein family was able to obtain forged papers saying they were only part Jewish, thus avoiding deportation and being killed. They did not have to wear the yellow star on their clothing and moved about society without issue.
Nussbaum first met her future husband Rudi Nussbaum in Amsterdam, and acted as liaison for him while he was in hiding. Rudi refused to wear the yellow star and hid for four years before the war ended, at first living with Dutch peasants, then in the countryside, and finally in the Klein home. The two married in 1947, two years after the war had ended. Of the experience Nussbaum stated "I would not have chosen, at the age of 13 or 14, a deep sense of obligation that someone was dependent upon you. But in all situations in life, you have to rise to the occasion. We decided the other person was decent and worth it."
Life in America
In 1954, Nussbaum, along with her husband and children, migrated to Indiana so that Rudi could complete post-doctoral research for his degree. Together Nussbaum and Rudi had three children together; one daughter and two sons. It was upon migration that Nussbaum changed her first name from Hannelore to Laureen.
In 1959, Rudi gained a position at Portland State University and the family moved to Portland, Oregon. Nussbaum herself then gained a position at Portland State in the Foreign Languages and Literature department, eventually heading the German language department. After teaching courses for many years, she became Professor Emerita of the institution.
On July 22, 2011, Nussbaum's husband Rudi died after taking a fall in the Amsterdam Airport while the two were on holiday. After his funeral, he was cremated in Holland. The funeral was followed by a memorial service at the University Place Hotel and Conference Center in Portland.
Stand-alone books that Nussbaum has written (as compared to her many articles) include:
- Assimilationsproblematik in Georg Hermanns letztem Exilroman Der etruskische Spiegel
- The Image of Woman in the Work of Bertolt Brecht
- Verliebt in Holland: ein wichtiges und wechselndes Verhältnis in Georg Hermanns reiferen Jahren
Nussbaum's work has been referenced in dozens of books, with some titles including:
- Anne Frank: The Biography by Melissa Müller
- Anne Frank: Reflections on Her Life and Legacy by Hyman Aaron Enzer and Sandra Solotaroff-Enzer
- Anne Frank Unbound: Media, Imagination, Memory by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Jeffrey Shandler
- Beethoven: The First Biography, 1827 by Johann Aloys Schlosser
- Bertolt Brecht: Centenary Essays by Steve Giles and Rodney Livingstone
- Between Sorrow and Strength: Women Refugees of the Nazi Period by Sibylle Quack
- Constructing a Sociology of Translation by Michaela Wolf and Alexandra Fukari
- German-Jewish Literature in the Wake of the Holocaust: Grete Weil, Ruth Klüger, and the Politics of Address by Pascale R. Bos
- Shedding Light on the Darkness: A Guide to Teaching the Holocaust by Nancy Ann Lauckner
- The Child's View of the Third Reich in German Literature : The Eye Among the Blind by Debbie Pinfold
- The Woman who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation by Gayle Greene
- Theaters of Justice: Judging, Staging, and Working Through in Arendt, Brecht, and Delbo by Yasco Horsman
- Winter Facets: Traces and Tropes of the Cold by Andrea Dortmann
- Women Without a Past?: German Autobiographical Writings and Fascism by Joanne Sayner
- "Remembering Anne Frank". Oregon State University. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "OSU HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL WEEK 2014" (PDF). Oregon State University. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "Lecture: Laureen Nussbaum, "The Legacy of Anne Frank"". Portland State University. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Hall, Bennett (24 April 2014). "Holocaust survivor to share memories of Anne Frank". Corvallis Gazette-Times. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Upper School assembly with Holocaust survivors Laureen and Rudi Nussbaum". Catlin Gabel. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- GDR Review, Volume 34. Verlag Zeit im Bild. 1989. p. 11.
- "Holocaust survivors speak at Nestucca". 9 March 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- Powers, Lenita (February 16, 2006). "Friend of Anne Frank tells her own story". archive.rgj.com. Gannet - RGJ.com. Archived from the original on April 24, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- "Laureen Nussbaum Video | Interviews". OV Guide. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "There are different versions of Anne Frank's diary". Annefrank.org. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- Lee, Carol Ann. "The Hidden Life of Otto Frank". Harper Collins. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- Lambert, Angela (5 May 1995). "Anne Frank: after the diary stopped". The Independent. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- Geyer, Thomas (28 Apr 2005). "Couple recalls how they survived Nazis". Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Duin, Steve (17 October 2011). "Rudi Nussbaum and his wife, Laureen: A couple who rose to the occasion". Oregon Live. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "Rudi H. Nussbaum Obituary". Oregon Live. 16 Oct 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "SATURDAY, APRIL 5" (PDF). Millersville University. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "Oregon PSR Honors the Memory of Dr. Rudi Nussbaum". PSR. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- Nussbaum, Laureen (1993). Assimilationsproblematik in Georg Hermanns letztem Exilroman "Der etruskische Spiegel". Niemeyer.
- Nussbaum, Laureen Klein (1983). The Image of Woman in the Work of Bertolt Brecht. Xerox University Microfilms.
- Nussbaum, Laureen (1991). Verliebt in Holland: ein wichtiges und wechselndes Verhältnis in Georg Hermanns reiferen Jahren. Rodopi.
- Müller, Melissa (1999). Anne Frank: The Biography. Macmillan. ISBN 9781429978897.
- Enzer, Hyman Aaron (2000). Anne Frank: Reflections on Her Life and Legacy. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252068232.
- Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara (2012). Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Jeffrey Shandler. Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253007551.
- Schlosser, Johann Aloys (1996). Beethoven: The First Biography, 1827. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 186–187. ISBN 9781574670066.
- Giles, Steve (1998). Bertolt Brecht: Centenary Essays. Rodopi. ISBN 9789042003095.
- Quack, Sibylle (2002). Between Sorrow and Strength: Women Refugees of the Nazi Period. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521522854.
- Wolf, Michaela (2007). Constructing a Sociology of Translation. John Benjamins Publishing. ISBN 9789027292063.
- Bos, Pascale R. (2005). German-Jewish Literature in the Wake of the Holocaust: Grete Weil, Ruth Klüger, and the Politics of Address. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781403979339.
- Lauckner, Nancy Ann (2000). Shedding Light on the Darkness: A Guide to Teaching the Holocaust. Berghahn Books. pp. 158–173. ISBN 9781571812087.
- Pinfold, Debbie (2001). The Child's View of the Third Reich in German Literature : The Eye Among the Blind. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191554193.
- Greene, Gayle (1999). The Woman who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 9780472087839.
- Horsman, Yasco (2011). Theaters of Justice: Judging, Staging, and Working Through in Arendt, Brecht, and Delbo. Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804770323.
- Dortmann, Andrea (2007). Winter Facets: Traces and Tropes of the Cold. Peter Lang. ISBN 9783039105403.
- Sayner, Joanne (2007). Women Without a Past?: German Autobiographical Writings and Fascism. Rodopi. ISBN 9789042022287.