I began writing many, many years ago, starting with 'Letters to the Editor,' voicing my concern about political and social causes. Many of them were printed in various newspapers.
I started writing more seriously when my youngest granddaughter asked me about 13 years ago to tell her something about the way we lived in Germany. That prompted me to write "A Grandmother's Chronicle" which is in the beginning of my book, Irene: Chronicle of a Survivor. I continued writing in a class for senior citizens, called "Telling Your Story". Many of the essays, written in that forum are contained in my book, about my life and how we tried to get my grandmother safely to the United States.
I have never ceased grieving for her and all our loved ones who perished, but as my writings show, I persevered, raised a family, established a career and contributed my energy to many social causes. Finally, at the age of 74, I came full circle - reconnecting with and marrying my long lost Berlin sweetheart.
Irene speaks regularly, most recently as a keynote speaker at a combined meeting of the Anti-Defamation League and the FBI at the FBI building in Boston. She has also had several successful book signings, most notably at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington on October 18, 1997.
Channel 3, a cable television station in Newton, Massachusetts, interviewed Irene and the tape of that interview won 2nd place in a cable TV contest, which means this interview may be seen nationwide. We'll keep you updated on this.
Irene made a trip to Germany during the summer of 1999 and noted:
"While in Berlin I spoke to a group of 90 high school students and was interviewed by the 'Deutsche Welle' (German radio station). It was very interesting for me and it was the first time I have spoken to German students. I also spoke to a much younger class in Leipzig. The response in both instances was quite good."
As new speaking dates are made available, Shiba Hill will post them on Irene's page. For more information on her speaking engagements, book or anything else, email Irene Hofstein.