We are saddened at the passing of Anna Ostrowiak on April 9, 2013 after a long illness. Those of us who knew Anna mourn the loss of our friend, colleague and aunt. For those who never had the good fortune to have known Anna, she was a vibrant and intelligent woman who touched many lives.
She was born in Poland on December 20, 1923. Her childhood was disrupted by the Holocaust. The story of the miracle of her survival can be seen on her 2 part video testimony for the Shoah project: Part 1 Part 2.
After the war she and her late husband, Adek, emigrated to Duluth MN and established a successful fine menswear store. They moved to Florida in (DATE), where she became active in local politics. Her political conviction was recognized and she was honored to serve as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention (DATE).
She was committed to the local Jewish community. In 1998, Anna helped start a program within the Jewish Family Services to help Holocaust survivors obtain restitution monies from the German government. She spoke Polish, Russian, German and Yiddish and used those skills when she met with needy survivors to help translate the documents necessary to chronicle their experience in order to satisfy the German government’s stringent criteria for receiving benefits. Frequently, these applications were initially denied and she often wrote letters to appeal their denials. In many cases her persistence paid off. She helped hundreds of survivors receive the benefits needed in their old age. She and her friend, Brenda Sender, volunteered at this program for over 15 years. In December 2012, Anna and Brenda were honored by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation with the Volunteers of the Year Award.
She is survived by her nieces and nephews in Brazil and Israel and by her companion, Herman Neudorf. Donations can be made to the Jewish Federation of Broward County.