Reflection On Life
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Howard Singerman: When my mother, Susan Singerman, was interviewed for the Gathering the Voices Project in August, 2010, she was seriously ill and sadly, she passed away on January 17th, 2011. In view of her poor health, the interview was restricted in time to avoid overtiring her, although it still captures much of her trademark spirit and sense of humour. However, the restricted time, and also her natural modesty, meant many aspects of her remarkable life were not touched on in the interview.
Susan suffered the most extreme racism and persecution. She fought against racism and prejudice throughout her life. In the early 1960s, in Glasgow, she helped form and run the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination, known as CARD. CARD worked to raise awareness of racism and to campaign against racial discrimination for ten years until it was replaced by Glasgow Community Relations Council.
For many years, Susan would not speak of her ordeal during the war. However, after retiring as a teacher, she began to speak to young people at schools about her experiences. She received hundreds of letters from school children saying how moved they had been by hearing her story. She felt it was vital that what had happened should not be forgotten. In 1996 she was made an MBE for services to the understanding of the Holocaust.
Susan survived unspeakable horrors, but what she always said was essential was not to let the Nazis destroy her humanity, and the humanity of those they were oppressing. She said she would not let the Nazis turn her into an animal.
My mother, Susan Singerman, spent her life helping other people, and impressing the need not to forget the Holocaust to ensure such evil never happened again. She loved her two children and five grandchildren very dearly, and saw them as part of her legacy to the future.