"Hearing one person tell their story gave a completely different perspective to what happened, as it wasn't about statistics or about a nation as a whole, but one person who lost his family and home." ~O. Avery (student)
Trudy Klein Gompers
You can easily download and print Trudy's biography here (pdf)
Trudy Klein Gompers was born in Vienna, Austria in 1937. On March 12, 1938 the Nazis annexed Austria and life for her family immediately changed for the worse. Trudy’s mother was personally humiliated when members of the Nazi party demanded that she scrub the streets in preparation for a visit by Adolf Hitler.
Three days before Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass, November 9-10, 1938), Trudy, along with her father, mother, and brother boarded a train and left Vienna for London, England. Her grandparents stayed behind, never to be seen again.
Her family arrived in England in early 1939 and life was stressful. England considered her family enemy aliens after WWII started. First Scotland Yard took her father away. A year later Trudy and her mother were shipped to the Isle of Man, an island internment camp near Ireland. In 1942, when she was 5 years old, her family was released and they returned to London during the Battle of Britain.
Trudy and her family survived the war in England and then sailed to New York City in 1946. After marrying her husband, Lou Gompers, great-grand nephew of Samuel Gompers who organized the first unions in America, she moved to Philadelphia. Gertrude and Lou have two sons and four grandchildren. Her family’s trials and tribulations are chronicled in her first book, Prisms of Light: Reflections of Shattered Glass. Today, Trudy is an art appraiser and estate liquidator.