Holocaust author to speak at United Brothers Synagogue


BRISTOL – It was November 1942. Nazi Germany had invaded Norway and the deportation of the Norwegian Jews had begun.

Then a very young girl in Norway, Irene Levin Berman grew up to write her account of that time: “We Are Going to Pick Potatoes: Norway and the Holocaust. The Untold Story.”

She will speak about her experiences and read from her book at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at United Brothers Synagogue in Bristol.

“We are going to pick potatoes” was what Irene, then 4, and her brother, then 7, were told by their mother and their nanny to explain their sudden departure from Nazi-occupied Oslo, Norway, and escape to Sweden. Seven members of Irene’s father’s immediate family were among the hundreds in Oslo who were unable to escape and died in Auschwitz.

Her talk will describe the impact of the Holocaust on her life in Norway as well as her life in the United States after her marriage to a U.S. citizen. Taking readers through more than six decades of history, she recounts her research through archives and personal interviews to discover the fate of the aunts, uncles and cousins who “disappeared.”

Sponsored by the synagogue’s Book Club, the program includes refreshments and the opportunity to purchase Irene’s book. Although the program is free, seating is limited; leave a message at 253-3460 or ubsbristol@gmail.com.

The synagogue is at 205 High St., Bristol.

To learn more about Irene’s experiences, visit NorwayandtheHolocaust.com.