Hilde Geisen (1924-2017)

Hilde Geisen was born to Robert and Frieda Geisenheimer on May 28, 1924 in Cologne, Germany. She lost most of her family when they were scattered and murdered in various concentration camps. Hilde herself was imprisoned as a teenager in Terezin, in Czechoslovakia. She made lifelong friends with an “adoptive mother” there, and traveled with her to the displaced persons camp upon liberation. It was not until the summer of 1947 that she received permission to come to the United States, where her aunt and uncle, Trude and Ludwig Kaufman were waiting for her in Eugene, Oregon. 

The Kaufmans owned a clothing store in Eugene, where Hilde, by then a young woman, began working. Life in Eugene was too small for her at that time, however, and Hilde spent the next few years in San Francisco and Los Angeles getting retail experience and seeing the world. When she returned to Eugene, she moved quickly up the ranks at Kaufman Brothers, became a buyer and eventually managed several of the stores.

Hilde was active in Hadassah and a member of Temple Beth Israel. She died on November 21, 2017.