The Eulogizer: Political activist Vivian Myerson, Holocaust survivor Rose Lindner


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Eulogizer is a new column (soon-to-be blog) that highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently. Learn about their achievements, honor their memories and celebrate Jewish lives well lived with The Eulogizer. Write to the Eulogizer at Read previous columns here.

Vivian Myerson, 100, peace activist

Vivian Myerson, a political activist in Los Angeles and later a member of the city’s Human Relations Commission, died at 100 on May 13.

Myerson and her husband, Seymour, sued the Los Angeles Police Department for spying on them and harassment in the 1970s and received an out-of-court settlement that “marked the first time that the LAPD agreed to pay damages in a lawsuit alleging politically motivated spying,” and which helped lead to the disbanding of its political surveillance unit in 1983.

Myerson was born in Cleveland attended the University of Michigan, where she met her future husband and then moved to Washington. They moved to Los Angeles after World War II, where she worked as a stenographer. Seymour was a Hollywood set designer later blacklisted for union activity. The family was acquainted with other blacklisted professionals, including members of the Hollywood Ten, at least four of whom were Jewish.

Myerson became involved with Los Angeles Peace Crusade and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, heading the group’s Los Angeles chapter for many years. In 1978 she was appointed to the L.A .Human Relations Commission, where she served for 22 years.

Myerson’s son Michael told The Eulogizer that his mother was active in circulating the Stockholm Appeal to ban nuclear weapons in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Other political activities included protests during the Kennedy administration to stop above-ground nuclear tests with their fallout of strontium 90; against the Vietnam War in the 1960s and ’70s; and for nuclear disarmament and against the "Star Wars" anti-missile shield during the Reagan years.

Rose Lindner, 97, Holocaust survivor

Rose Lindner, a teacher and employment counselor in the Chicago area who fled Poland at the outbreak of World War II, died May 8 at 97.

Lindner, who had received a law degree in Poland, received a bachelor’s degree in Russian at Roosevelt University and later taught Russian and other foreign languages. She also worked as a job counselor with the Jewish Vocational Service.

“She was a very bright, quiet, gentle, very refined woman,” said Richard Rotberg, retired assistant executive director of Jewish Vocational Service. “She was very good with clients; people really liked her.”

Lindner was born in Warsaw. Her father owned a sugar mill, and the family had a city apartment and a country home. After law school, she was a clerk for Raphael Lemkin, an attorney who coined the word “genocide” in 1943 and who wrote a treatise on the subject in 1944.

“It was extremely difficult for a Jewish person, much less a Jewish woman, to get into a university when there was so much anti-Semitism at the time,” said her son, Robert Lindner.

She and her husband fled Warsaw when the Nazi bombardment began in late 1939.

“My mother said, ‘We were always either one step ahead of the Germans or one step behind them,’ ” said her daughter, Marie Lindner.

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