Dr. Fred Feldman, will discuss his book, “The Story Keeper: Weaving the Threads of Time and Memory” on July 28 at 7 pm. The memoir tells the story of his parents and their escape from the looming Nazi threat. He will be interviewed by his sister, Charlotte Feldman-Jacobs.
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Fred was born near Baku, Azerbaijan as his family was fleeing from the German army during World War II. After the war, as Holocaust survivors, they eventually escaped the Soviet Union to refugee collection centers in Poland and were transferred to several displaced persons camps in Austria, where they remained for three years trying to obtain visas to immigrate to the United States. He arrived at age 7 with his family in the United States, unable to speak English, and went through the public-school system in South Bend, Indiana from kindergarten through high school. Fred graduated as a high school valedictorian, attended the University of Chicago as an undergraduate and Purdue University where he received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry.
From the time Fred was a child, he developed a passion for collecting stories and photographs of his extensive and exceptional family history. As an adult, and while fully engaged in his professional activities, He conducted myriad interviews of survivors and his family, extensively documented all their photographs and history, and has conducted presentations on them. Since retirement, he has produced a 4 DVD video-documentary of his family’s history and used that material as a basis for writing his book. While he considers the book a memoir, it could easily fit into the genre of a non-fiction narrative. While there are a number of historical fiction books describing events of this era, there are few authors remaining that survived these experiences that can describe them with such detail and veracity and relate them to current times. While he could have grown up to be a goat herder in Azerbaijan, his progression from those horrible times to becoming a top scientist adds an interesting and unusual thread to his story.
Beyond expectations from his unique beginnings, Dr. Feldman worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 30 years becoming a Senior Vice President and Chief Science Officer with global responsibilities and chairing an international world-class scientific advisory board. His expertise was in the application of science to industrial processing for the development of advanced therapeutics, especially in the treatment of life-threatening congenital inherited diseases. He developed several “First-in-class” products that have been registered and distributed globally. He has been invited and participated in industry conferences as a keynote speaker and presented in venues around the world.
Until her retirement in 2020, Charlotte Feldman-Jacobs was Associate Vice President for International Programs and Program Director for Gender at the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) in Washington, D.C. Her primary areas of focus at PRB and before that at International Center for Research on Women were gender and reproductive health, especially gender-based violence and Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. Prior to switching to non-profit organizations, Charlotte was a reporter and editor for more than a decade on various newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Tribune and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. From 1982 to 1992, she worked on Capitol Hill, including as a legislative assistant in Foreign Affairs and Defense then as a press secretary to the late Congressman S. William Green of New York. She had the privilege of working with Rep. Green while he served on the Commission to create the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Ms. Feldman-Jacobs received a BA in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MA in Legal Journalism from Southern Illinois University.
Generously sponsored by: Barrie & Rob Henken
This program is in partnership with the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC), North Shore Library, Shorewood Public Library, Wauwatosa Public Library, Madison Public Library, Verona Public Library, and La Crosse Public Library
Wed. July 28, 2021