Speaker's Bureau

Sherry Fishman for her friend Frank Wesley


Frank Wesley 

June 15, 1918 - May 26, 2017

Born Franz Wolfsohn in Breslau, Germany. Frank was imprisoned at the Buchenwald concentration camp as a young man. There he was a slave laborer in the quarries, survived near-starvation, and witnessed many horrors. He was released, although uncertain why, and given three days to leave Germany, without a visa. He knew he would be put back in the camp or killed if he were to be caught, and so sneaked over the border into Belgium, leaving almost everything behind. Frank immigrated to the United States found work in the Kaiser shipyards in Portland, Oregon, then enlisted in the Armed Forces after he became a U. S. citizen. He was assigned to a unit that liberated Buchenwald.

When he returned to Portland after the war, Frank earned a Bachelor’s degree at Reed College.

He became a professor of psychology, and taught for over 50 years.  Frank held multiple degrees including PhDs from Washington State University and Hanover, Germany. He held professional appointments at Portland State University, and also in Germany and Russia.

He authored several books, was a beekeeper, gardener, and reforested the clear-cut land that he purchased in Vernonia, Oregon. Always a lover of music, especially jazz, Frank took up the saxophone at age 70 and played almost until his death. His love of life was strengthened by his internment and war experiences, because he took from those years the lesson of living life with laughter, love, and inclusivity. Frank is survived by three adult children, grandchildren and his ex-wife.


Sherry Fishman

Sherry Fishman lives in Portland with her husband of 51 years, ecologist Paul Fishman. She is a mother of two, and grandmother of 4. She has been an English/Drama teacher, counselor and  Child Development Specialist in grades K-12. Sherry holds a Bachelors degree in English Literature and Drama, (University of Illinois, Teaching Certificate graduate degree (U.C. Irvine) and a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark College, She also had a private practice with a specialty in chronic illness and disability. Now retired, Sherry has served as a community volunteer.

Sherry loves stories, writes stories, and shares the story of her recently deceased neighbor and friend, a Holocaust survivor and rescuer, Frank Wesley.