Our next interview in the “meet our volunteers and interns” series is Emily Loeb! Thank you Emily for working with us and for your dedication to sharing your grandmother’s story with the community.
When did you start volunteering for the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh?
I started giving talks at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh in early 2019.
What do you like about volunteering with the Holocaust Center?
I enjoy interacting the students and groups that come to visit the center.
Why did you want to volunteer with the Holocaust Center? What interested you about what the Center does?
My grandmother became involved with the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education when it was founded in 1993. She provided recorded testimony that is still shared on their website. She put together her own slideshow and told her story to area schools in Kansas City. She died in 2012, and my uncle now gives these talks in Kansas City. I wanted to continue the legacy of telling her story so that something like that Holocaust would never happen to anyone ever again.
When did you first become interested in the subject of the Holocaust, and/ or what got you interested in the topic (book, movie, meeting someone, etc.)?
I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t know about the Holocaust. In their bedroom, my grandparents had photos of their parents and family members who were murdered in concentration camps. I don’t remember a single moment when I became interested, rather I had the feeling that I owed it to my grandparents to ensure that their stories would continue to be told.
Describe your most memorable moment of volunteering with the Holocaust Center to date
I recently gave a presentation over Zoom to a group of 5th graders. At the end of my presentation, one student said that he really liked history and had read a lot about WWII. He said that while he had read stories about the Holocaust, he had never before heard a personal perspective about what happened and that hearing my grandmother’s story completely changed his understanding of the Holocaust. It was memorable for me because it not only reaffirmed why I volunteer and share her story, but it also reminded me that 10- and 11-year-old kids understand and can relate to this issue on a very deep level.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy reading, gardening, hiking/camping, writing, and being with my family.
Share a “fun fact” about yourself, or just something that people would be surprised to know about you?
I started a share garden in the curb strip between the sidewalk and the street. We grow vegetables that are available for anyone to pick and eat.