Dana Middle School students had the opportunity of a lifetime to hear the incredibly brave and inspiring story of Trudie Strobel—a Holocaust survivor. Born in Ukraine in 1938, Strobel and her mother were sent 600 miles to a Jewish ghetto in Poland when the Nazi’s invaded Russia. Strobel experienced the atrocities of life in a labor camp and suffered the staggering loss of many family members. While they were at the camp, Strobel and her mother Masha found solace in sewing, their saving grace during their containment. After several years of jumping back and forth between homes and Displacement Camps, Strobel and her mother made it to America where they worked hard to rebuild their lives.
In the United States, Strobel married a Holocaust survivor and had two sons. As her children grew up, Strobel and her husband did not speak about the past. To recover from the psychological side effects of her youth, Strobel embraced her inner artist with the help of her therapist who suggested drawing to express her emotions. She created beautiful dolls, embroidered items, and much more that have been considered beautiful works of art.
Since she began creating art, Strobel has been honored by the California State Assembly in 2018 for her 30 years of helping new generations of students remember the importance of tolerance and acceptance. She has encouraged today’s youth to be vigilant in making sure this dark part of history is never repeated. Dana Middle School is so grateful to Strobel for her time taken to share her courage, her struggles, her loss, and her strength with their students. Find out more about this incredible woman at trudiestrobel.com.