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Jeanne Beker

June 13, 2018 by Speakers' Spotlight

Iconic Fashion Journalist Jeanne Beker Shares Her Parent’s Holocaust Story

In an emotional interview with CBC Ottawa Morning, Jeanne Beker shared her family’s Holocaust story. A long-time celebrity, Jeanne is one of the most influential women in the fashion industry — in Canada and around the world — most well-known as the host of TV’s Fashion Television.

What is less well known is that Jeanne is the daughter of Holocaust survivors. Prior to her talk at Carleton University, where she was invited to speak for the Centre of Holocaust Education and Scholarship, Jeanne shared her parent’s story with CBC Ottawa Morning in a heartfelt interview.

Jeanne’s family living in Poland during WWII. While hiding from Nazis, her mother’s entire family — 10 family members — suffocated in a bunker. After learning that her mother survived, Jeanne’s father found her and they went on the run, living in bunkers and underground hiding places. Jeanne still finds it unfathomable to think that they escaped and lived such an incredible life. “They just decided to put one foot in front of the other,” she said, “and tried to see the joy in life rather than the utter darkness.”

Jeanne’s parents felt it was their duty to share their story, not only to their children but to their community. Now, Jeanne has taken on that torch, calling it her “obligation as a human being to remind others of the absolute depth that people can sink to and yet they can rise like phoenixes from the ashes.” Listen to Jeanne’s incredible story below.