The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, in collaboration with the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, is pleased to present three special guest speakers during the production of The Diary of Anne Frank. These talks, given by local survivors of the Holocaust, are open to all ticket-holders for The Diary of Anne Frank.
Saturday, September 10 at 6:30pm
(before the 7:30pm show)
Conrad was born in Storojinetz, a small town in Bucovina, once part of Romania (currently part of the Ukraine) in 1938. After a brief occupation of the region by the Soviet Army in 1941, Romanian authorities in alliance with German forces, started a massive campaign of annihilation and deportation of Jews to Transnistria. They were taken by cattle car, a journey of two days and one night, and then forced to walk for two weeks in snow and mud to the forced labor camp, Budi. Conrad was 3 1/2 years old at the time and luckily, he had a strong uncle who carried him most of the journey. While in Budi, Conrad fell very ill. Many of the prisoners advised his mother to give up. Her response was that a mother does not give up on her child. Eventually, he was nursed back to health by his mother. In 1944, at the age of six, Conrad and the 300 surviving prisoners at Budi were liberated by the advancing Soviet Army and repatriated to Romania. In 1946, Romania became a Communist country. For this reason, his family’s requests to emigrate to the U.S. were denied for fourteen years. Finally in July 1960, the paperwork was approved and Conrad’s family was able to come to America. He settled in Cincinnati and in 1966, graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in German and Russian Language and Literature. In 1968, he obtained a M.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati on a full-ride scholarship.
Dr. Al Miller
Sunday, September 18 at approx. 4:30pm
(after the 2pm show)
Dr. Al Miller was born in Berlin, Germany in 1922. His family owned a successful clothing company, and he has many happy memories of his early childhood. As an active youth, he enjoyed sports until one day he arrived at his favorite recreation center to find it forbidden to Jews. He also was an enthusiastic student. He remembers many of his childhood friends joining the Hitler Youth and wearing their uniforms with pride and cutting him out of their lives for being Jewish. He was the last Jewish student to remain in his class until it was made too uncomfortable for him to stay. In 1936, Al attended the infamous Berlin Olympics in which American runner Jesse Owens won four medals. As conditions became worse for the Jews of Germany, his family put together a plan to leave the country and resettle elsewhere. Al departed Nazi Germany in 1937 for Switzerland, while his brother was sent to England. His parents remained in Germany, enduring Kristallnacht and hiding in a friend’s home. The family was eventually to reunite in England before immigrating to America in 1939. Al settled in Hamilton, Ohio where he practiced optometry until his retirement.
Dr. Renate Neeman
Saturday, October 1 at approx. 4:30pm
(after the 2pm show)
Oct. 1, 7:30pm tickets holders could also arrive early to hear the speaker, go have dinner, and then return for the show!
Renate Neeman was born in Hildesheim near Hannover, Germany in 1926. She was in first grade when Hitler came to power. She and her parents fled to the Netherlands before Kristallnacht in 1938; they were permitted to stay thanks to the sponsorship of a Dutch relative. After Germany occupied the Netherlands in May 1940, the situation for the Jews became as severe as in Germany, but it was after the Jewish transports to the east began that Renate and her parents went into hiding. The Dutch underground placed them separately for safety; Renate was “passing” with false identity papers as a maid with a Christian family in the city of Amersfoort while her parents were hidden in a fraternity house with eight other Jews at Amsterdam University. All those hidden in both groups survived. Two weeks after the end of WWII, Renate was reunited with her parents. In 1946, Renate and her parents immigrated to America where they were reunited with Renate’s older half-sister who had immigrated in 1937. Renate’s career as an occupational therapist took her to Buffalo, NY, where she met her husband, Dr. Moshe Neeman, with whom she had four children. Before moving to Cincinnati in 2014, she was a speaker for the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo, NY.