Fanny Aizenberg, 101
Fanny Aizenberg, of Silver Spring, died Aug. 10. She was 101.
Aizenberg was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1916, and moved to Brussels as a child. She earned a college degree in art and design just before the beginning of World War II, and began working as a designer creating clothing for the Royal House of Belgium. Aizenberg married her husband Jacques Aizenberg in May 1938. Their daughter, Josiane, was born in March 1939.
Following Germany’s invasion of Belgium in May 1940, Jews were shunned from Belgian society. Aizenberg became involved in the Belgian resistance movement by hiding refugees in her attic. She arranged a hiding place for Josiane. Aizenberg and her mother spent time in multiple hiding places until they were discovered and arrested. They were beaten by the Gestapo (secret police) and taken to the Mechelen transit camp. After 10 days all of the prisoners in Mechelen were deported to the concentration camp Auschwitz. Of the 110 who were packed into a single train car along with Aizenberg, 30 survived the three-day journey.
Aizenberg and her mother were permanently separated after arriving in Auschwitz. During one of the selections, Aizenberg was chosen for medical experiments. She found encouragement from a group of six women who helped her to endure beatings, forced labor in a grenade factory and the many other horrors of Auschwitz.
On Jan. 17, 1945, Auschwitz was evacuated by the Nazis, and Aizenberg was forced on a death march. In April of that year, she and the other prisoners were liberated by the Russians near the Elbe River. The Russians took the prisoners to a makeshift hospital where they were fed and cared for. Ten days after her liberation a delegation from the Red Cross brought Fanny back to Belgium where she was reunited both with her husband and daughter.
Aizenberg worked at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for more than 20 years, serving in multiple roles, some of which involved telling her personal story. She often told museum visitors that they had to visit the exhibition before speaking with her so they would have good questions to ask.
Aizenberg is survived by her daughter, Josie Traum, and son-in-law, Freddie Taum, as well as three grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
—U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Miriam G. Basen
Miriam G. Basen, of Potomac, died Aug. 10. She was the beloved wife of the late George Basen and devoted mother of Barry (Michelle) Basen and Marsha (Basen) Berman. Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.
Irving Kabik, of Olney, died Aug. 12. He was the beloved husband of the late Janet Kabik; devoted father of Ann (Michael) McCartin and Brett (Hope) Kabik; and loving grandfather of Katie McCartin, Courtney McCartin, Jillian Kabik and Jessica Kabik. Contributions may be made to Tikvat Israel Congregation or Montgomery Hospice. Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.
Janet Dolores Kay
Janet Dolores Kay, of Rockville, died Aug. 4. She was the beloved wife of the late David H. Kay; devoted mother of Rebecca H. (Matthew) Salzman and Michael A. (Ivonne) Kay; loving sister of Edna Ketchum; and cherished grandmother of Brandon Kay and Dylan Salzman. Contributions can be made to The National Parkinson Disease Foundation at parkinson.org. Arrangements entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.