The Holocaust Speaker Series, hosted every Wednesday at 11 a.m., features Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors sharing stories of life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The series is sponsored by Margaret & Michael Valentine. This week’s speaker is Roni Berenson.
Roni Berenson was born in Berlin, Germany in August of 1930. Many of her relatives and friends were taken to and killed in concentration camps. She and her parents were lucky to leave Germany in 1941, on one of the last boats of Jews allowed out of Europe and into the United States. They were fortunate enough to have distant relatives in Cleveland, Ohio who sent affidavits so that they could come to America. Roni graduated from East High School in Cleveland and met her husband, Elliott, at Cleveland College of Western Reserve, now known as Case Western Reserve University. She has 4 children and 5 grandchildren. Roni has been an anti-war activist since the 1960’s with her husband and family, demonstrating against the war in Vietnam, protesting against the build-up of nuclear weapons, among other things. In 1984, Roni was awarded the Albert Einstein peace award by Physicians for Social Responsibility. In 2013 she received the bi-annual Humanism Award for activism in promoting and advancing humanist ethics and values.