Honoring the legacy. Mourning the loss. Finding hope in our history.

Lauren Leiderman

DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER

Lauren is an adamant preserver of Jewish history in Görlitz and the surrounding region. Through her work, she has connected more than 100 Jewish descendants from around the world with each other.  Through this unique descendants network, Lauren has helped to create a data base of hundreds of photos, interviews, and artefacts from the pre-1945 Jewish community of Görlitz. In the spring of 2020, Lauren organized the first mass-effort cleanup of the Jewish Cemetery in Görlitz in recent years. She did this while in direct contact with her friend Rabbi Akiva Weingarten and each of the descendants whose relatives are buried in the Görlitz Jewish Cemetery.

In 2021, Lauren became an author after publishing house Hentrich and Hentrich published “The Poesie Album of Eva Goldberg”- a conglomeration of the research that Lauren had gathered about Eva Goldberg (whose life and Poesiealbum was completely unknown by the local Görlitz and Zgorzelec population including both cities’ top historical experts).  Using her method of “finding people” she was able to discover histories and add photos of many who signed Eva Goldberg’s book- which included Anne Frank.  It was published in three languages:  Polish, English, and German. Lauren is one of the administrators of the Stolperstein Guide Görlitz/Zgorzelec. During her time as an administrator, she has organised the installation of 39 Stolpersteine in Görlitz, nearly tripling the number of Stolpersteine in the city in less than 2 years.

In November 2021, Lauren organized the first Jewish Remembrance Week in Görlitz.   Through her  relationship with the US Consulate in Leipzig, Lauren wrote a grant to fund the travel for 20 Jewish descendants from around the world who came to Görlitz for the 2021 JRW festivities. This included multiple events detailing themes of Jewish history and culture specific to the city of Görlitz, all of which were led by descendants and international experts in the thematic fields.  During this week, Lauren was able to organize the first trip made by Jewish people to the site of the Tormersdorf Concentration Camp- where many of the visitor’s ancestors were interned. Lauren is a 2021 simul⁺Mitmachfonds prize winner. She will be using this prize to further educational endeavours in Görlitz and the region.

Lauren is a proud member of a Jewish family. In her free time, Lauren enjoys foraging for mushrooms, baking, traveling (especially to Israel), playing the piano, and spending time with her family: Mark, Aidan, Abital, and miniature schnauzer Tallulah.

Peter Feldmann

Descendant Representative & Organizer

Peter Feldmann is a descendant of the Jewish Feldmann family of Görlitz.  Peter was born in Chile to Kurt Feldmann. Kurt  escaped Görlitz in 1938 to Uruguay. Kurt Feldmann was not reunited with his parents Alfred and Frieda until nine years later in Chile, where they were stranded after escaping Görlitz in late 1939.

Peter grew up in both Chile and Argentina, where he became an industrial engineer and got to know his wife. Peter is the father of 2 children, aged 27 and 23. He currently lives in Germany, where he worked for a long time as both a manager and marketing professional. Peter does not consider himself to be religious, but rather secular.

Peter is now enjoying retirement.  He is passionate about his family history which is scattered throughout Israel, Canada, Argentina, England and Germany. His engagement into JRW is driven through the conviction that the future is based on our past, and that our experiences should be shared. Peter shares his family’s legacy with others in the hope that it promotes more tolerance and for the united efforts for a better world community.

Eric Fraunholz

Organizer & Executive Director of the German-American Institute Saxony

Eric W. Fraunholz is the founder and Executive Director of the German-American Institute Saxony, the first and only such institution in Central Germany. He holds Bachelors degrees in Applied Computer Science and American Literature and a Masters degree in American Studies with a focus on transatlantic intellectual history and political theory. He has taught American and American politics and history at the Institute for American Studies at Leipzig University for seven years and taught political theory and intellectual history at the Institute for Political Science at Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena. He is currently working on his dissertation on the political economy of German emigres to the United States in the New Deal era. His latest publication is »More Ambition, Please: Toward a New Agreement Between Germany and United States«, a recommendation for action to the German government and the Bundestag with the aim of strengthening transatlantic relations in the post-Trump era, which was co-written by leading transatlanticists in Germany.

Jodi Wallach

Descendant Genealogist & Social Media Manager

Jodi Wallach is a wife and mother of 3 living in Connecticut. Jodi has been engaged in family history research for the last 15 years, sparked by an interest in her family’s German Jewish roots in Görlitz. Combining her love of history and professional skills gained in recruiting and talent research, she has been able to uncover family documents and connect with distant relatives from around the world to piece together the story of her Wallach and extended families. Learning about her Görlitz Jewish ancestors – who they were, what they were like, what experiences they lived through – has been a source of deep personal fulfillment and  made a profound impact on the relationships she has with living relatives.  In 2021, Jodi met Lauren Leiderman and participated in Jewish Remembrance Week with other descendants of the Görlitz Jewish Community. This incredibly memorable experience further fueled Jodi’s desire to know and preserve the history of her Görlitz ancestors and those of her new found Görlitz “cousins”, so that future generations can benefit.