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The World Stood in Silence: Dr. Edie Kroo Alexander Shares Holocaust Experiences of Her Mother Lilly Rubin Kroo

The Jack and Nancy Becker Center held over 350 ICS students and faculty members silent in rapt attention, while Dr. Edie Kroo Alexander shared the experiences of her mother, concentration camp survivor Lilly Rubin Kroo. 
 
This Holocaust Remembrance assembly, for students, faculty, and staff from grades 8-12, was impactful and inspiring for all in attendance. Dr. Alexander came to Indian Creek at the request of the Alewine family to enhance the students’ understanding of the Holocaust through a personal story.
 
A powerful speaker with a profound story, Dr. Alexander earned a Ph.D. in Linguistics from The Ohio State University, afterwards she worked for the Defense Department, and retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency.  While both of her parents were survivors of the Holocaust, she focused on her mother’s story for her conversation with the Upper School students. She shared that neither of her parents spoke about their experiences while she was growing up, but her mother had shared her story with Steven Spielberg’s USC Shoah Foundation and she learned a great deal from hours of video tapes.
 
Lilly Rubin Kroo was born in Czechoslovakia and was imprisoned in the Auschwitz- Birkenau concentration camp by the Nazis when she was 20 years old.  Dr. Alexander’s presentation brought this experience to life for the audience as she described her mother’s life before, during, and after her time at the camp.  From growing up in the small town of Vari, through the beginning signs that life as she knew it was changing, through the unfathomable events of the Holocaust, liberation, and Immigration to America, Dr. Alexander spoke about her mother’s life with poise, charisma, and authenticity.
 
After her moving presentation, ICS students had the opportunity to ask several questions about what it was like to grow up with parents who shared this unspeakable history. Dr. Alexander shared that her parents passed on to her a preference for sturdy shoes, and the habit of always carrying food in her purse.
 
The most important message that Dr. Alexander asked the Indian Creek community to take with them, was the thought that the world stood in silence while all of this happened.  Do not be silent again. She shared a quote from her mother, Lilly Rubin Kroo: “To everybody listening: say something, do something when your neighbors suddenly disappear.”
 
After a standing ovation, Dr. Alexander shared that she has recently become a grandmother and is thankful every day that her mother refused to die at the hands of the Nazis.
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Indian Creek school is a co-educational, college preparatory independent school, located in Crownsville, Maryland.  Students in Pre-K3 through grade 12 receive a vibrant educational experience based on excellent academics steeped in strong student-teacher connections.