Roselle Levy Kleinberger (1922-2011)

Roselle Kleinberger was born on May 8, 1922 to Elsa Rosenstihl Levy and Julius Levy in Dahn, Germany, a small, Catholic town near the French border. Her father was a traveling salesman and aided families with legal issues, and her mother ran their textile store. There was a synagogue for the 15 Jewish families who lived in the town. Although she always felt Jewish and met with name-calling, her family felt German first and was comfortably assimilated into the mixed town.  

She was brought to the US at age 14 by her mother’s cousin who at the time worked with the National Council of Jewish Women, who worked to save Jewish children. She was sent to a convent to learn English by immersion and then to the local high school, where she met her future husband, Kurt, at the age of 16; they married when she was 19.

Her mother and her father were killed in the camps at liberation; and her younger brother, Helmut died just a few days after liberation from starvation. Her older brother, Karl, went to London before the war broke out, and her younger sister, Gertrude, escaped to Southern France and hid until after the war.

Roselle and her husband lived in New York and Chicago, moving back and forth as needed for work. After her husband died in 1974, Roselle moved to Portland, Oregon to be near her son.