Lisa Grabell

Lisa Grabell
Born 1937 in Vienna, Austria As an infant, she and her parents escaped from Nazi-occupied Vienna by train into Switzerland and became refugees. They were able to emigrate to the United States in 1939.


Click to view fullsize.
Lisa, 6 months old, in Vienna.
Lisa’s parents, Rudi and Stella Hershan. He was nine years older than his wife. He died in 1968 at the age of 62. She died in 2015 at the age of 99.
Lisa with her father in Vienna.
Lisa with her mother before the Holocaust.
Lisa with her father before they left Austria.
Rudy Hershan before the war.
Her father, Rudi Hershan, was driving his car when the Germans pulled him over. They looked at his identity papers, saw he was a Jew, and confiscated the car.
Lisa’s passport photo. By sheer luck, her father was able to secure passports and visas for himself and his family at the start of the war.
Lisa in her mother’s arms, with her maternal grandparents, Lucy and Felix Kreidl.
Lisa’s maternal grandmother, Lucy Kreidl, and her husband left Austria before the Anschluss.
Lisa’s maternal grandfather, Felix Kreidl was a successful businessman in the finance sector in Austria. He lost everything during the Holocaust. After emigrating to the United States he worked as a traveling salesman.
Lisa’s father, Rudi Hershan (in sailor suit) with his siblings and paternal grandparents, Regina and Zeigfried Hershan, in 1909.
Lisa’s father, Rudi Hershan (second from right) posed with his brothers and sisters—Irene, Hans, Carlie, and Gretel. The photo was taken in 1911 in Vienna.
Lisa’s aunt Gretel Hershan Schindler survived the Holocaust by passing as a Gentile.
Gretel Schindler with her husband.
When her parents fled, they took only what they could carry. Lisa’s baby book made it into their suitcase.
Lisa with her parents in 1939, after they fled to Switzerland.
Lisa, age 3, in the United States.
Lisa with her parents in Nice, France, on their way to the United States.
Lisa became a U.S. citizen at age 11.
Lisa graduated from high school and college in New York, but always considered herself Viennese.
After emigrating to the United States, Lisa’s mother learned English, went to college, and published a famous book about Eleanor Roosevelt. She and the former First Lady began a lively correspondence in 1960.
Lisa and son Larry in Vienna in 2000 attending a conference for Holocaust survivors hosted by the Austrian government.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona