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Northeastern student and Gideon Klein Scholar kicks off Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week with “solo biographical performance”

image of andie weiner presenting to audience with folder in hand

“Everything you will hear today is true—the events and the stories.” That’s how Andie Weiner, the 2024 Holocaust Legacy Foundation Gideon Klein Scholar, prefaced her presentation at the kick off of Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week at Northeastern University.

The presentation, also her capstone project, was a “solo biographical performance” that told the story of how her grandfather, Jack or “Joop” Groothuis, escaped the Netherlands as it was under Nazi occupation and fled to the United States. A fourth-year theater and psychology major at Northeastern, Weiner chronicled how her great-grandmother, Helen Copenhagen Groothuis, hid her grandfather—then an infant—with a local Christian family following the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in 1940. 

In 1946, Jack was reunited with his mother and they moved to New York to live with her sister, Marjana (Marian) Schechter, Weiner said. The Cabral Center at the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, where Weiner presented on Monday, became a makeshift exhibit displaying historical photographs and artifacts from the time period. 

“I’ve always been interested in survivor stories as the primary mode of storytelling and education about the Holocaust,” Weiner told the audience. “Throughout my life, I’ve been doing research and learning about this, and this opportunity was presented to me as a way to really connect the family history.” Weiner detailed her grandfather’s story in a Northeastern Global News article in advance of Holocaust Remembrance Day in January.

Read more at Northeastern Global News.

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