TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Thursday, April 28 is Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day, and CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center is recognizing the occasion with a candle lighting ceremony and a special speaker.

Jean Kristeller will be presenting the story of her family’s escape from Berlin in 1939 as part of CANDLES’ Be The Change speaker series.

My grandparents, Ada and Leo Kristeller, and their daughter, Anne, left Berlin in February 1939. They already sent their son George, my father, to England for school in 1936. My grandfather was a physician, and my grandmother was related to the Arnhold family, who were prominent bankers. Leo served in the German military, and the family was proud of both their German and their Jewish heritage. I will speak to the complexities of their decisions, their departure, ability to re-establish themselves in NYC, and also about other family members who fled earlier after Hitler came to power.

Jean Kristeller

Kristeller is a retired faculty member in clinical psychology at ISU. She has been involved in CANDLES trips to Auschwitz and other projects throughout the years.

Executive director Troy Fears said it’s important to learn about the history behind it.

“To hear those lessons of not only the six million Jews that we’re killed, but also the survivors. When you hear the phrase never again a lot and that’s exactly what we want to happen. We don’t want this to happen again,” Fears stated.

Thursday’s event will begin at 5 p.m. and will also be streamed over Zoom for those who wish to attend virtually. For more information about the event visit the CANDLES website here.