Cover photo for Esther Lederman's Obituary
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1924 Esther Lederman 2024

Esther Lederman

May 3, 1924 — January 11, 2024

Esther Lederman (née Gutman) age 99 died suddenly on January 11, 2024 at her home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Born May 3, 1924 in Lodz, Poland, she and her family escaped to the village of Chmielnik during the Nazi occupation. Her mother and sister were captured and killed in Treblinka. Esther was hidden together with the Lederman family for nearly two years by the Zal family who are recognized as righteous Christians in both the U.S. Holocaust Museum and in Yad Vashem. They were liberated by the Red army but fled post-war pogroms to the American occupation zone in Germany. Fluent in several languages she worked for the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) while living in a Displaced Persons camp until the family emigrated to New York in 1949. She and her husband published their stories of the Holocaust in Hiding for Our Lives, which has been translated into Polish, Russian and Italian. Her husband Ezjel died in 1995. She lectured about her experiences at colleges, schools, military bases, and civic organizations for the North Carolina Holocaust Speakers Bureau. She is survived by her four children – Michael (Sharmon Sollitto), Ruth Sack (David), Abby Zarkin (Gary) and Robert (Laura), seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Esther was a beautiful, elegant woman, ever optimistic, “a force of nature.” She was deeply loved. Donations in her memory can be made to JDC.org or holocaustspeakersbureau.org.

 

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Funeral Service

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Burial

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Durham Hebrew Cemetery

840 Kent St, Durham, NC 27701

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