Photo courtesy of Citizenship Counts
Three years after Germans invaded her hometown of Bielsko, Poland, Gerda Weissmann Klein was separated from her parents as a teenager and sent to work in slave labor camps. Her entire extended family was killed in the Holocaust. Published in 1957, her first book, the widely read and praised memoir All But My Life, recounts her struggle for survival. The documentary One Survivor Remembers, based on the book, won both an Academy Award and an Emmy. For her tireless work promoting human rights and tolerance, Klein was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. She also founded the civic engagement organization Citizenship Counts.