Start of Main Content


By Susan Warsinger

Six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. The immensity of this number does not reveal who these people were and does not give meaning to the lives they lived. The number will never tell the full story of what has been lost. All those people who were killed, including most of my relatives, were important. They had all been busy living lives and contributing to society. Any number of their children and grandchildren could have become great scientists, doctors, lawyers, chefs, actors, poets, writers, dancers, engineers, athletes, teachers, and so much more. The loss to humanity is incomprehensible.

I feel so fortunate that my immediate family survived and was able to immigrate to the United States by 1941, just before the worst atrocities occurred everywhere in Europe. I am so grateful that I had a wonderful husband who together with me raised three beautiful, loving, and intelligent daughters, who, in turn, each presented us with three grandchildren. We have nine grandchildren to love and watch over. 

Below is a photo taken of all nine of them, when they were between the ages of seven months and nine years old. Four of them were born within one school year. Joshua and David are twins and are sitting next to Julian, who is at the far right. Erica is holding the baby, Lyla. The photo was taken on August 7, 1994. They will all grow and be healthy and choose the kind of people they want to become. I will briefly convey what each grandchild will be doing on February 2, 2022. 

My description will start with Brian, on the left, who is wearing red shorts, and wander across, stopping at each grandchild, until I end with Julian, who has his knee on the couch.   


Susan’s grandchildren (from left to right): Brian Robinson, Matthew Robinson, Erica Robinson, Lyla Shapiro, Sabrina Shapiro, Rebecca Martin, Joshua Martin, David Martin Warsinger, and Julian Shapiro. —Photo courtesy of Susan Warsinger

Brian will attend Duke University and the University of Southern California and receive a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. He will become a research scientist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. His research will include computational neuroscience, as well as brain computer interface technology. He will wed his talented fiancée, Sarah, a civil engineer, and have two exquisite children, a little boy called Elijah and a baby girl called Faye.

Matthew, during medical school at Northwestern held an internship at New York University and an infectious disease fellowship at Johns Hopkins’s medical school, will work at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing, China, and serve as a clinician educator in internal medicine in Gulu, Uganda, and an infectious disease research fellow in Pune, India. He will also do clinical work in Rwanda and do research in Peru. He will become Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and serve on the Advisory Team for Johns Hopkins Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for COVID-19. Some of his research will focus on the diagnosis of acute febrile illness. He will marry the gracious Sehar, a development director at Campaign Legal Center, and they will have two delightful sons called Rami and Sabih.

Erica will graduate from Northwestern University and move to Beijing to begin her consulting career in cable and media. She will learn to speak Chinese fluently. She will return to the United States and continue consulting in the same space. Later she will join Mediakind, a software and solutions company, as vice president of technology and strategy. There she will help Mediakind navigate an ever-changing industry. During this period she will marry good-looking Mike, a history professor, and they will give me my first great-grandchild, Maya, and then another sweet girl called Noa.

Lyla will join the Peace Corps in Paraguay for two years and serve as a community health educator before receiving a master’s degree in public health at Emory University, graduating in May 2022. She will be working with research teams that focus on local and global food insecurity initiatives. She will also be a COVID-19 responder with the Georgia Department of Public Health, where she will educate people on how to remain safe during the pandemic. She will continue to work in public health outreach and communications with a focus on the social determinants of health and climate action for global public health. 

Sabrina will receive a degree in dance and biology at Marymount in Manhattan and dance professionally in New York, Washington, DC, and Israel for a number of years. She will also teach Pilates, other exercises, and dance before receiving her doctorate in physical therapy from George Washington University. She will be a physical therapist in Washington, DC, and marry Daniel, a dedicated teacher in the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland.

Rebecca will attend the University of Maryland and receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan in public health. She will work in the Office of Autism Research Coordination at the National Institute of Mental Health. She will focus on outreach activities including creating website content and increasing engagement with the autism community.

Joshua will graduate from Harvard University and Tufts University School of Medicine, and do his residency at Northwestern and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. He will be a sports medicine physician at the group of Regenerative Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. He will focus on non-surgical treatments for various musculoskeletal conditions and incorporate diagnostic, ultrasound-guided procedures. He will write several book chapters and papers on cutting-edge regenerative treatments to treat common orthopedic conditions. He will marry the lovely Alyssa, a senior editor for Home Chef.

David will receive his doctorate from MIT and will be a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue. At Purdue, he will run a lab focused on water treatment technologies, where he will use nanoengineering and thermal sciences to make processes such as desalination more energy efficient and sustainable. His research will be supported by a mix of government agencies, companies, foundations, and startups, which he also advises. Meanwhile, David's teaching will focus on heat and mass transfer and design courses. He will seek to shape a better world through sustainable and energy efficient science and engineering. He will be engaged to the delightful Tobi who will be doing her residency to become a radiologist.

Julian will become a teacher of ice skating, rock climbing, paddle boarding, and basketball. He will become the director of a program that works with children with special needs that uses adaptive athletics including American Ninja Warrior and other sports. He will give therapy services to help children improve social skills and become athletes. 

I am so proud of all my grandchildren’s achievements and what they are contributing to our country and to the world. I am delighted that I am an important part in their lives. I know that they will have a positive impact on our civilization. Their energy is boundless. I also know that they are rejoicing in the fact that they live in a democratic society and that they will be resolute in making sure that no dictatorship will ever usurp our liberties. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to come to the United States and that my grandchildren will be part of the future.

© 2022, Susan Warsinger. The text, images, and audio and video clips on this website are available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined in the United States copyright laws.