Leaving a Legacy
"But how did we get to Georgia? From Wisconsin we went to Buffalo. From Buffalo, we were transferred to Connecticut. And then in 1978, Steve said, 'How would we like to move to Atlanta?' And by that time I’d had enough of the cold, and I’d heard really good things about Atlanta, so we did get a job in Atlanta, and we moved to Marietta. And we lived there for 26 years. And Steve eventually left Pepsi and went to work for several other companies, and I went to school at Kennesaw State University, starting in 1985, and I was working and raising the family, and eventually, in 2004, I graduated with a degree in marketing. So that was a real feather in my cap, I felt.
And my mother, two years ago, moved to Marietta, and she lives in a retirement community, and she loves it here. She’s 94.5, and we hope that she’ll be around for many years, but we’re really excited about her celebrating her 95th birthday. Unfortunately, she lost Aunt Hiddie earlier this year. Aunt Hiddie had a stroke, but they were very close, and she’s the last one of her family. She’s been through so much, but she has a lot of character, and she goes to synagogue every week.
Considering my family's legacy, I hope they’ll come to understand that there was a lot of tragedy that the family endured, but they never gave up their belief in God, and my mother has shown me – and my aunts-- through their actions and their lives-- that we need to be accepting of one another. We need to be tolerant. We need to reach out and embrace our neighbors, our friends-- that we shouldn’t be prejudiced, that this can lead to catastrophic situations.
And to really understand that these many people that were killed for being different, being different than the norm, so to speak-- but we all come from the same source. And we need to be very dilligent about our personal human rights, and to be suspect when things don’t seem right, and to try to correct the wrongs of other people. And we need to explain to people who don’t necessarily have the same-- that are not on the page, so to speak-- that we have a dialogue with them. And we try to work things out the best we can, and communicate, and not shut one another out. And we pray for world peace, and for unity."
Editor's Note: Susan Heinemann Berman recorded her oral history for the Legacy Series on October 31, 2019 with curator Adina Langer at the Sturgis Library at Kennesaw State University.