Edith Rosenthal Lavender (1913-2005)

Edith Rosenthal Lavender was born in Wiesbaden, Germany on November 24, 1913 to Emilia and Leon Rosenthal. She had one younger brother, Frank. Edith grew up in a comfortable household, was able to attend public school through graduation. Following graduation, Edith found work as a typist and held that job until 1934 when the business could no longer employ Jews. 

Edith met her future husband, Paul, at a dance in Wiesbaden in 1934. Her family had just made arrangements for her to go to South Africa to be with family when Edith and Paul decided to get married. They arranged to meet in Amsterdam, and were married three months later by a rabbi at the same time as their two closest friends. 

In September 1936, Paul and Edith wrote to family Paul had in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received the necessary affidavits to immigrate to the US. They made the trip in 1937. They were able to secure a small apartment and both of them found work. Jobs were not only difficult to come by, but they were also difficult to keep during that time. But they did manage, and their first daughter, Eleanor, was born in October 1941.

After Kristallnacht, Edith and her brother, who had also been able to come to the US through family affidavits and was living in Tennessee, were able to secure the necessary paperwork to bring their parents to the US. They arrived in December of 1938. The whole family rented a very large house together in the city until first Frank married in 1945, and then Edith and Paul decided to move to Portland in 1946. The couple had a second daughter, Fay, and lived a happy and active live here in Portland until both Edith and Paul passed away in 2005.

Interview(s):