Speaker: Anna Steinberger - Holocaust Survivor
Topic: "Against All Odds"
Speaker: Anna Steinberger - Holocaust Survivor
Anna was born in Radom, Poland. When she was 11 yrs. old, Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. To escape the rapidly advancing German occupation she, her parents, brother 16yrs old, and four other family members fled from their home by a horse-driven buggy with just the clothes they had on, to eastern part of Poland which was soon occupied by the Soviets. They were then relocated to Stalingrad and later to Alma Ata, Kazakhstan.
Anna had to learn Russian, attended school, and later met her future husband (Emil). They managed to survive despite having very little food or clothing, particularly during the German invasion of the Soviet Union (1941-1945). Her brother was drafted in Stalingrad into the Russian army, and only over six years later did the family learn through the International Red Cross that he too survived the war!!
In 1946, they returned to Poland, but after learning that many of their family members perished in the Holocaust, both families left for the American Zone of Germany.
While parents lived for ~3.5 yrs. in a DP Camp in Kassel, Germany, Anna and Emil had to manage yet another new language, German, in order to pursue their medical education in Frankfurt A/M.
After the families immigrated to the USA, Anna and Emil had to learn to speak English, were married in New York City (1950), and moved to Iowa City to continue their studies at University of Iowa.
Anna received her MS degree in microbiology (1952) and Emil his MD degree (1955). They also became parents of two daughters (who eventually became an artist and an attorney, respectively). To help support the family, Anna had to interrupt her education and work as a laboratory technician.
While Emil was serving in the US Navy (1956-1958) and later completing his medical residency at Detroit Receiving Hospital, Anna returned to Graduate School, and in 1961 earned her Ph.D. degree from Wayne State University.
Anna and Emil continued their research as faculty members at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA (1961-71) then at the newly created University of Texas Medical School in Houston. Emil served as chairman of the Department of Reproductive Medicine and Biology which was unique by integrating basic and clinical research with clinical practice.
Anna thought medical and graduate students, conducted basic research in Reproductive Biology and for six years prior to her retirement (Jan. 2002) also served as Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs, all at UT Medical School-Houston. Her research yielded over 250 scientific articles, books, and book chapters for which she received numerous awards and recognitions in the USA and abroad. Many publications were co-authored with Emil, and they were often invited to speak at various national and international conferences.
Emil and Anna were instrumental in establishing (1974) the American Society of Andrology. Emil served as its president in 1975-1977 and Anna in 1985-1986.
In 1984 Emil and his associates established the Texas Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Endocrinology.
After retiring from the academe as Professor Emerita in January 2002, Anna became more active at the Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) particularly in the Museum's educational programs. She has served for many years on the HMH Board of Directors as vice chair for education, its Executive Committee, Docent Committee, Education Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and Collections Committees. She is also a docent (tour guide) at HMH.
She and Emil endowed the Docent Training Program at HMH to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides will be taught to future generations.
In November,2011 the HMH dedicated a classroom with a plaque:
Given in Honor of Anna and Emil Steinberger's
Commitment to Holocaust Education
By their Children Inette and Joshua Brown
Anna has recently finished Emil's third book, "THE GOLDEN AGE and its IMPLOSION" which he was unable to complete due to his illness and untimely death due to lung cancer, October 12, 2008. Emil's two previous books titled: "BETWEEN the DEVIL and DEEP BLUE SEA" and "THE PROMISSED LAND-WOES of an IMMIGRANT" were published in 2005 and 2007, respectively. Writing the books, based on his experiences during and after WWII, has become his passion after his retirement from research and clinical practice.
Emil and Anna were instrumental in establishing (1975) the American Society of Andrology. He served as its president in 1975-1977 and Anna in 1985-1986.
In April, 2010 the American Society of Andrology honored Emil's memory by naming the opening key-note lecture at the Society annual meetings "THE EMIL STEINBERGER MEMORIAL LECTURE".
Anna was appointed in 2009 by the governor's office to serve a five-year term as commissioner on the newly created TEXAS HOLOCAUST and GENOCIDE COMMISSION dedicated to educating the public about these events and actions needed to prevent them from reoccurring.
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Non-Rotarians $30.00 each
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11:30 am Networking/Social
12:00 noon Meeting Begins
1:00 pm Adjourn