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Fri, Apr 19



Irene Wittig: Almost Home

Otto Gruenbaum, Pianist, Ritchie Boy. He almost made it home. Why he didn’t is a mystery.

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Irene Wittig: Almost Home
Irene Wittig: Almost Home

Time & Location

Apr 19, 2024, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Highfield-Cascade, 14421 Lake Royer Dr, Highfield-Cascade, MD 21719, USA

About the event

On April 19th at 6pm Irene Wittig will give a talk at The Fort Ritchie Community Center. Irene Wittig was born ten days after the liberation of Rome to a Viennese Jewish mother and Italian father, arrived in the U.S. via Austria and Argentina, and grew up in New York, in a neighborhood of Holocaust survivors and fellow Europeans displaced by war. After studying in New York, Germany and Maryland she worked for the Dept. of Defense in Washington, DC before moving to Naples, Italy where she lived for five years. Later, she and her husband spent six years in Switzerland. After twenty years as a ceramic painter and teacher, Irene turned to writing. She has written two novels—one of them about Vienna-- two children’s books, a book about ceramics and the book about her uncle. She and her husband have two children and four grandchildren and live in Arlington, Virginia.

“ALMOST HOME,  is the true story of my uncle, Otto Gruenbaum, a promising young pianist who fled Vienna, found refuge in the United States, joined the Army, was selected for secret military intelligence training at Camp Ritchie and served as a wartime interrogator in Europe. He almost made it home. Why he didn’t is the mystery that has haunted my family.

My lecture will concentrate on this story, but the book also includes many of his letters, as well related information and research."


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