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Beverley Silver shares the story of both of her parents, Jewish Holocaust survivors Johanna Stern Moss and Malcolm Moss.

Beverley’s mother Johanna was born in Germany in 1925. As the Nazis came to power, her grandmother, Anna Stern, feared for her granddaughter’s life and made arrangements for Johanna to escape Germany on a Kindertransport.

Leaving her father, grandmother, and extended family, Johanna sailed to England in 1939, where she and 24 other refugee girls lived in a hostel sponsored by a Jewish refugee committee in the town of Middlesbrough.  Johanna’s father managed to escape to the United States shortly before World War II broke out.  It was too dangerous during wartime, however, for Johanna to travel across the Atlantic Ocean to join him.  Instead, Johanna remained in Middlesbrough living with a loving and generous English family, the Levys.  Finally, in 1946 she arrived in the United States and was reunited with her father, but tragically, many of her relatives were killed in the Holocaust. 

Beverley’s father Malcolm was born Moizesz Moskiewicz in Poland in 1912 to a large Jewish family. He graduated from the Vienna Academy of Design with an ambition to become a clothing designer.  Fearful of an impending German invasion of Poland, Malcolm fled to Switzerland in 1938, where, after World War II began, he was interned in a labor camp for Jewish refugees.  Malcolm immigrated to the United States in 1945 and joined his brother, his only relative who survived the Holocaust. 

Johanna and Malcolm met and married in New York in 1946.  Malcolm continued his career as a clothing designer in the United States, and he and Johanna raised three children in New York and Illinois before retiring to San Diego.  Malcolm passed away in 1986 and Johanna in 2019.

Beverley Silver spent her career as an art educator, working extensively in K-12 public and private schools, museum, and university settings.  Beverley retired in 2021 from Seattle University, where she directed the Job Placement Office in the College of Education.  She enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, and became a member of the Holocaust Center Speakers Bureau in 2022 with the hope of keeping her parents’ legacy of survival alive.