NYPD Officer Sues Over ‘Deplorable’ Conditions for Pumping Breast Milk: ‘It’s Just Inexcusable’

Simone Teagle, a New York City Police Department officer, has filed a lawsuit against N.Y.C., mayor Bill de Blasio and others, alleging that she faced poor treatment for pumping breast milk at work.

According to her personal injury claim, Teagle is suing for $ 5 million on account of pain and suffering, mental anguish and punitive damages. The New York Post was the first to report the news.

In the claim, Teagle, who used to work at the 113th Precinct, alleges that the respondents have “failed and refused to provide her and other similarly situated female employees who are nursing mothers with a proper location to express milk.”

A representative of the NYPD told PEOPLE, “The NYPD is in full compliance with the law.” The New York City Law Department declined PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Teagle told PEOPLE that, starting in February 2018, she had to pump milk in the bathroom, the locker room or her car for her son, who is now 11 months old.

RELATED: Brie Bella Opens Up About Her Struggle with Breastfeeding: ‘Mom Guilt’s the Worst Feeling’

In the locker room, she said, “There’s no window. There’s no air ventilation. There’s mold on the walls. There’s dirt on the floor. … It’s just a deplorable place. If I didn’t pump there, I would pump sometimes inside of the bathroom, which is difficult because you often hear women using the bathroom while you’re pumping, which is disgusting.”

She continued, “Sometimes, if I didn’t want to deal with those conditions, I pumped in my car. … Then I would take my milk and put it into an insulated lunchbox and keep my milk there until I could get home to refrigerate it.”

Teagle said that her supervisors’ treatment of her was similarly unnerving. She recalled, “I asked supervisors for a break. They’d give me a hard time often roll their eyes at me. They were very annoyed with me taking a break and how many times a day I needed to take a break to express milk.”

In August, the claim says that Teagle was asked to list her breaks for breast pumping in an Interrupted Patrol Log, which several other people can access.

RELATED VIDEO: Breastfeeding in Bali! Chrissy Teigen Lounges in the Nude While Nursing Baby Miles on Vacation

“I started to just skip breaks,” she said. “It caused a medical condition for me with swelling in the breasts and the breasts being overfilled because it was just easier to avoid conflict by not even asking for a break.”

Teagle’s mastitis, according to Mayo Clinic, “is an inflammation of breast tissue that sometimes involves an infection. The inflammation results in breast pain, swelling, warmth and redness. You might also have fever and chills.”

Teagle was transferred to another command in September. Eric Sanders, Teagle’s lawyer, told PEOPLE that said she is still facing issues there.

“She doesn’t have a facility, and she basically will have to either pump in the bathroom … or she’ll have to do it in her private vehicle,” Sanders explained. “The police department is a multi-billion dollar agency. It’s just inexcusable that she would have to do that.”

RELATED: Gisele Bündchen Says She Used Her Breast Milk As a Cure-All When Her Kids Were Little

Sanders said of police officers, “They have the same rights to nurse. They have the same rights to take care of their family. They have the same constitutional rights as anyone else.”

Teagle hopes that her lawsuit helps other women in her position. She said, “I’m hoping that women who are pregnant now, women who are going to have babies in the future … that they’ll have a facility that’s suitable for them, and they won’t feel discouraged or embarrassed about pumping milk or asking to pump milk.”


PEOPLE.com

Fashion Deals Update:

The Met Names Nancy Chilton Chief External Relations Officer of the Costume Institute

ONWARD AND UPWARD: For many in the fashion crowd, Nancy Chilton’s name has been synonymous with The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. She has taken on a larger role, having been promoted to chief external relations officer for the Costume Institute.
For four years, Chilton has served as chief communications officer for the department. In her new post, she will continue to head communications for the Costume Institute’s exhibitions, special projects and the Met Gala. (The latter alone would seem like a year-round job, given the hundreds that turn out for the exhibition preview, and the more curated crowd for the black-tie event.)
Chilton will oversee additional institutional priorities, philanthropic programs, working closely on sponsorship relationships and other outreach with development. “Every year you talk about the exhibition for months beforehand, write about it and select images to tell the story. But the best moment is when you walk through the galleries with [curator in charge] Andrew Bolton and you see it actually come to life. And the day after the [Met] Gala walking through the galleries and actually seeing the public engaged with it and overhearing comments and reactions — those are always the best moments,” Chilton said.
As for standout

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NYDJ Taps Jennifer Adams as Chief Financial Officer

Jennifer Adams has been named chief financial officer of NYDJ.
She succeeds Jason Frame, who left the company.
Since 2013, Adams has been cfo and operations leader for The Collected Group, which consists of Joie, Current Elliott and Equipment brands. Earlier she spent eight years at VF Corp. serving as cfo for the Seven For All Mankind and JanSport brands. Before that, she was with PricewaterhouseCoopers for more than 10 years.
Adams reports to Lisa Collier, president and chief executive officer of NYDJ.
In other news, NYDJ launched a Mother’s Day campaign today that runs through May 13. The goal of the campaign is to drive an emotional connection via storytelling. NYDJ is recognizing mothers and their daughters, leveraging the phrase “perfect the way you are,” across all touch points. The campaign video is featured on NYDJ’s homepage. The company will sent out three e-mails dedicated to Mother’s Day, including an e-mail directly from Collier. The campaign appears on the company’s social media channels, and video will run on Pandora, HGTV, DIY and Cooking Channel and Facebook.

A Mother’s Day image from NYDJ. 
Courtesy Photo

Blogger Kelly Augustine and pro-surfer Anastasia Ashley participated in the campaign and will support it on their social channels. And Make Up

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Officer reveals why he told BBC about Cliff Richard raid

A retired police officer who gave a BBC reporter information about a raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s house has told a court that he felt “forced” to tell him about the search.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Minn. Officer Who Fatally Shot Bride-to-Be Who Called 911 to Report Possible Assault Charged With Murder

The Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an Australian bride-to-be in 2017 after she called 911 to report a possible assault has turned himself over to authorities after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman detailed the third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges against Officer Mohamed Noor, a member of the Minneapolis police force for 29 months, in the death of Justine Damond, who was just weeks away from her wedding date.

Damond, a 40-year-old meditation teacher and personal health and life coach, was fatally shot on July 15, 2017, when Officers Matthew Harrity and Noor responded to a 911 call she’d made.

An investigation revealed Damond (who was reportedly wearing her pajamas) approached the driver’s side window of the responding patrol car moments after a loud noise startled Harrity.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Noor, who was sitting in the passenger seat, shot Damond through the open driver’s side window, Freeman said, and told investigators he felt his life was in danger at the time of the shooting.

Freeman said the two officers turned their body cameras on after exiting the vehicle after the shooting. They did not start trying to resuscitate her until “one minute and 10 seconds after” exiting the vehicle, he said.

Freeman said that the first conversations captured on the body cams suggest both officers were apparently “spooked” by something.

But Freeman said that “Justine was approaching the car unarmed” and that both officers “couldn’t tell if she was a male or female, an adult or a child.” Therefore Freeman said “Officer Noor did not act reasonably and abused his authority to use deadly force.”

According to Freeman, Damond told the officers “‘I’m dying’ or ‘I’m dead’” as they approached her.

“In the short time between when Ms. Damond … approached the squad car and the time that he fired the fatal shot, there is no evidence that Officer Noor encountered a threat, appreciated a threat, investigated a threat, or confirmed a threat that justified the decision to use deadly force,” Freeman told reporters, noting Noor “recklessly and intentionally fired his gun.”

She was set to marry her fiancé, Don Damond, in Hawaii in early August; she had already publicly taken his last name.

The medical examiner concluded Damond died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Noor’s lawyer, Thomas Plunkett, could not be reached for comment Tuesday but previously told PEOPLE in a statement that the officer “extends his condolences to and anyone else who has been touched by this event.”

“He takes these events very seriously because, for him, being a police officer is a calling,” Plunkett said.

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Both Harrity, who joined the force in 2016, and Noor, were placed on paid leave immediately after the shooting. Their employment status was unclear Tuesday.

PEOPLE was unable to determine if Noor had entered a plea.

He is being held on $ 500,000 bail.


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Fashion Deals Update:

Former Pennsylvania Officer Pleads Guilty to Death of Pregnant Wife After Claiming He Shot Her by Accident

A former Pennsylvania State Police Trooper has pled guilty to the deaths of his wife and unborn child in 2014, which he claimed was accidental.

Joseph Paul Miller pled guilty on Thursday to two counts of involuntary manslaughter for causing the deaths of his wife, JoAnna Miller, and the baby girl she was pregnant with at the time, while he was cleaning his gun, according to the Associated Press.

Miller’s wife was taken to the hospital in critical condition while she was given an emergency cesarean section, according to the Montgomery Colonial. She was given an emergency cesarean, but the 24-week-old baby and the mother died after surgery.

Miller, 36, faces a maximum of 5 to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in the coming months, according to CBS Philadelphia.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Miller told investigators he had been taking apart a gun he owned in the family room to clean it when it discharged, according to the AP.

He initially said the gun was about 10 feet away from his wife when it accidentally went off, but he later revised that distance to about 2 feet away. Prosecutors, however, said ballistics and forensics tests showed the gun was only 3 to 6 inches from his wife’s head when it fired, and they charged him.

In a 911 call he said: “I, ah, was cleaning. I was about to clean my gun, and I didn’t realize there was a round … I shot my wife.” Miller’s children can also be heard in the background of the call, reports CBS Philadelphia.

• PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: 35 Real Cases That Inspired the Show Law & Order is on sale now.

Miller’s defense attorney Tim Woodward told the AP that Miller had resigned from the state police.

Miller remains out on bail and maintains custody of the couple’s two other children while he waits to be sentenced in Montgomery County.


PEOPLE.com

Fashion Deals Update:

Balmain Taps Txampi Diz as Chief Marketing Officer

LOOK AT DIZ: Balmain has lined up Txampi Diz as the house’s first chief marketing officer.
After more than 15 years at KCD Worldwide, Diz has exited as senior vice president and managing director of KCD Paris. What he won’t be relinquishing is an advisor role to KCD’s executive board of directors. Balmain is one of the American agency’s largest clients. Balmain’s team works with KCD’s offices in New York, Paris and London across all of its divisions — media relations, creative services and digital.
In step with Diz’s news, KCD Paris has promoted Alexis Arnault and Michele Giacalone to managing directors. Previously, the two men held the title of vice president of public relations. They will work with agency partner and managing director Laurence Laure. Arnault and Giacalone have been with the agency for 14 years and 6 years respectively.
In this new post, Diz is to oversee marketing, advertising, media relations and digital responsibilities. He will report to chief executive officer Massimo Piombini and he will work closely with creative director Olivier Rousteing. Diz has been very much part of Rouesting’s inner circle as he has amassed a colossal social media following, due partially to big-name fans like Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and

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Hickey Freeman Parent Names Chief Financial Officer

Luxury Men’s Apparel Group, the parent of Hickey Freeman, has named Mark Donovan executive vice president and chief financial officer. He will also serve as cfo of Hickey Freeman Tailored Clothing.
In this new position, Donovan will oversee all finance and consolidation for LMAG and serve as part of the company’s active acquisition team. He will also oversee the day-to-day financial operations for Hickey Freeman. He will report to Stephen Granovsky, chief executive officer of LMAG and Hickey Freeman.
Donovan, who will be based at Hickey Freeman’s headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., has held several senior-level retail and financial positions in the U.S. and Canada, including chief operating officer and cfo of Robert Talbott and Friedman’s Jewelers.
“I’ve known Mark for many years and I am delighted he will be joining our senior team. He will lead our efforts to bring greater financial disciplines to Hickey Freeman and will also be a very important facilitator of our efforts to not only grow LMAG’s portfolio of brands, but also bring synergies to the ones we already own,” Granovsky said.
In addition to Hickey Freeman, the Toronto-based LMAG also owns Samuelsohn Ltd., Culturata, H-American Tailor and Lipson Shirtmakers.
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Police Officer Dances with Children at Manchester Benefit Concert

As Ariana Grande took the stage in Manchester less than two weeks after a terrorist attack outside her concert killed 22 and injured over 100 people, fans in attendance bonded together.

A uniformed officer was taped skipping with children in a circle as others looked on during the concert.

“This is just amazing,” Elliot Wagland, Head of Pictures at the London Evening Standard, captioned the video on Twitter.

The mood at the concert was especially somber after a terrorist attack in London — which left seven dead and 48 injured after three men drove into a crowd and attacked with knives — occurred less than 24 hours ahead of the concert. Despite the attack and the severe threat level, Grande’s manager Scooter Braun and the Greater Manchester Police had stated that the show would go on as a message of resilience in the face of hatred.

Along with Grande, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Usher, Take That, Coldplay, Niall Horan, Robbie Williams, and Black Eyed Peas performed.

All proceeds from the concert, taking place at the Emirates Old Trafford stadium in the city, are going to the Red Cross’s Manchester Emergency Fund to help victims and families impacted by the attack. Those who were at the original gig were offered free tickets, and additional tickets sold out in just six minutes.

The show is expected to bring in around $ 2.6 million.

Ahead of the concert, Grande visited the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where many of he young fans are being treated.

Grande announced plans for the show in a special Twitter message just four days after the tragedy.

RELATED VIDEO: London Attack Kills Seven and Injures Dozens

“Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before,” she wrote in the statement.

“I’ll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend some time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honor of and to raise money for the victims and their families.”

The concert will aired live on Freeform at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. A one-hour highlight special will later air on ABC following the NBA Finals. BBC, the host broadcaster, is producing TV coverage.


PEOPLE.com

Fashion Deals Update:

Theory Names Siddhartha Shukla Chief Merchandising Officer

CHANGES AT THEORY: Siddhartha Shukla has been named chief merchandising officer at Theory, a new post. Most recently he was chief marketing officer. He will be responsible for product strategy and merchandising for Theory worldwide. Shukla will continue to work alongside chief executive officer Andrew Rosen on the overall vision and positioning of the brand and will collaborate with the company’s creative directors to ensure consistent alignment.
Succeeding Shukla as chief marketing officer is J.D. Ostrow. He will work with Rosen and Shukla to strategize the marketing and communication of the Theory brand worldwide. Most recently, Ostrow was senior vice president of engagement marketing for Burberry, based in London. Ostrow will oversee all marketing, communications, creative services, customer engagement and analytics.
In other news, Martin Andersson has been named creative director for men’s wear. He succeeds Ben Stubbington who left the company. Andersson was previously head of men’s wear design at Cos, a division of H&M. Earlier he was a designer at Aquascutum and Hackett, also in London, and was the founder and creative director of an eponymous apparel brand.

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Florida Officer Fired After Pulling Service Weapon to Reenact Scene From Training Day

A Florida sheriff’s deputy has been fired after he allegedly waved his police-issued gun and taser while reenacting a scene from the Denzel Washington movie Training Day, PEOPLE confirms.

According to a Lake County Sheriff’s Office internal affairs report from obtained by PEOPLE, David Zipes allegedly pulled out his service weapon and taser in the parking lot of a Lake County Sheriff substation on February 16. He then recited profanity-laced lines from the film.

In the 2001 crime thriller, Washington plays a crooked narcotics detective. In one scene, the character rubs two guns together and crosses them over each other as he confronts a suspect. The internal affairs report alleges Zipes admitted he was reenacting the scene.

Zipes allegedly told investigators that he was just trying to “be funny and fit in.”

At least two co-workers and a deputy trainee witnessed the incident. Zipes was fired on April 21; he had only been with the agency for about 16 months.

According to the report, this is not the first time Zipes has allegedly jokingly pulled out his firearm while on duty. The report states he had also pretended to grab his gun while talking to a pizza delivery driver and joked that he was Markeith Loyd, a Florida man who is accused of killing a police officer.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Zipes told investigators that he had no malicious intent behind the February 16 incident. “He stated that he was trying to lighten the mood,” the report states. Investigators say that he also said he wanted to be the “center of attention.”

The internal affairs report only addressed the status of Zipes’ employment. He has not been charged with any crime.

A phone number for Zipes has been disconnected, and he did not respond to PEOPLE’s email request for comment.


PEOPLE.com

Fashion Deals Update:

Randa Shifts Executives in Luggage, Wallets; Names Chief Operating Officer

Randa Accessories has repositioned some of the senior managers in its luggage and wallets and seasonal accessories divisions and also named a new chief operating officer.
Under the restructuring, Brad Kovaly has been named president of Randa luggage. Kovaly has 25 years of experience at the company, starting in the neckwear division, then managing a newly acquired leather goods business, and most recently, was chief operating officer.
As head of the luggage division, which designs, produces and distributes Columbia, Timberland, Nautica, Chaps, Vince Camuto, Weatherproof, Nine West and others, Kovaly will concentrate on the growing market of innovative travel solutions and technology.
“Having a longstanding history with Randa, I look forward to this new challenge to help shape and define our luggage division and the industry as a whole,” Kovaly said. “By leveraging our strengths and investing in our core competencies, we will continue to grow our current business while developing new product and distribution opportunities.” Succeeding Kovaly as chief operating officer is Ed Turner, a 20-year Randa veteran who has experience in sales, merchandising, sourcing and brand management. Most recently, Turner was president of Randa’s wallets and seasonal accessories division.
“With the evolving nature of our industry and our company, it is important to create

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Police Officer Stops Speeding Student, Then Fixes His Tie

Now that’s a clothes call.

When a police officer in Menomonie, Wisconsin, pulled over a speeding driver Nov. 30, he was considering giving a ticket, not a lesson in the sartorial arts.

Officer Martin Folczyk pulled the car over and discovered University of Wisconsin-Stout student Trevor Keeney, who was very agitated.

“I have to get a tie tied,” Keeney said, according to KMSP TV. “I have a presentation and I thought my buddy was home but he’s not, and I’m running behind.”

Officer Folczyk then asked for the necktie and immediately started multitasking, putting the tie around his own neck, and tying it, while making sure Keeney’s license and insurance checked out.

Folczyk’s nice gesture wasn’t without slight complications. When he handed the tie back, it was too short for Keeney.

Folczyk took the tie back from Keeney and re-tied it. He then gave it back and let the student go with just a warning.

Properly dressed, Keeney went on to get 92 percent on his presentation for an outside sales class, according to ABC News.

Of course, Dave Chappelle might have a few thoughts about this interaction. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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Gap Veteran Calandra to Join Tailored Brands as Chief Financial Officer

Jack Calandra will join Tailored Brands Inc. as executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, effective Jan. 3.
Calandra, who has an extensive background in the retail and consumer products industry, including 10 years with The Gap, will oversee corporate finance, accounting, treasury and investor relations for the Fremont, Calif.-based retailer. He will also serve on the company’s executive committee. Calandra will report to president and chief executive officer Doug Ewert.
“Throughout his career, Jack has demonstrated dynamic and strategic financial leadership at Fortune 500 retail and consumer brands and I am pleased to welcome him to Tailored Brands,” said Ewert. “He will be an exceptional addition to our team as we leverage our position as a leading authority on men’s wear to deliver an unparalleled customer experience in today’s omnichannel world.”
Calandra said he looked forward to “supporting our growth through disciplined financial management.”
Calandra was most recently senior vice president of corporate finance and investor relations for The Gap Inc., where he had worked for the past decade. During his time at Gap, he was cfo of the Banana Republic Global division and of Gap Direct, the e-commerce division. While at Gap Direct, Calandra played a key role in the acquisition of Athleta.
Prior

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Chris Lytton Appointed Chief Operating Officer of The Jim Henson Company (EXCLUSIVE)

The Jim Henson Company has appointed veteran exec and attorney Chris Lytton as chief operating officer and the newly-created position of executive vice president of strategy and business affairs. “Chris comes to us with a deeply entrepreneurial background, making him uniquely suited to join the leadership of our independent Company,” said Lisa Henson, president and CEO… Read more »

Variety

SHOPPING DISCOUNT UPDATE:

Handbook for the Military Surgeon; Being a Compendium of the Duties of the Medical Officer in the Field, the Sanitary Management of the Camp, the Preparation of Food, Etc. with Forms for the Requisitions for Supplies, Returns, Etc. the

Handbook for the Military Surgeon; Being a Compendium of the Duties of the Medical Officer in the Field, the Sanitary Management of the Camp, the Preparation of Food, Etc. with Forms for the Requisitions for Supplies, Returns, Etc. the


New – This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1861 edition. Excerpt: …both bones of a limb are injured, amputation was, but excision is now the rule. Saurel reports two similar cases, anchylosis in both, with discharge of fragments. Query: Which is preferable: operation with fair chance of mobility, or no operation and certain anchylosis? Amput

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Officer: Ex-coach rips Subban during arrest

Former Montreal Canadiens head coach Mario Tremblay allegedly made disparaging remarks about current Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban as Tremblay was being arrested for speeding and suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
ESPN.com – NHL

An Officer And His Gentleman

An Officer And His Gentleman


An Officer and His Gentleman is a true romance. I’d even go so far as to call it a modern day fairytale.” -Joyfully Reviewed (Joyfully Recommended Read)”Ryan Field has written a very sensual love story that will leave the reader wanting more. The characters are engaging and the story is definitely not the typical fare. This was the kind of story that deserves to be read more than once. An Officer and His Gentleman is definitely a four star work that will leave the reader wanting more from this very gifted author.” -Sensual Ecata RomanceChance Martin, who dreams of becoming a chef on the Food Network, works at a grocery store for a quirky old man who gives him free room and board as long as he walks around naked when the store is closed. But Chance is only interested in cooking, until an attractive stranger walks into the market one morning. Brody Johnston, bad boy naval officer on extended leave from his post in Europe, can’t take his eyes off innocent Chance’s round buttocks and smooth legs, and is determined to get to know him better. So when the old man goes to bed, Chance sneaks out to meet Brody and discovers his talents in the bedroom rival his talents in the kitchen. Though they are complete opposites, Chance is ready to submit to all of Brody’s sexual kinks and desires, but it never occurs to him they might actually fall in love with each other. As Chance fights to live his dream as a chef, and Brody wrestles with the opportunities and limitations imposed by the military, will they be able to find happiness in each other’s arms?

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Ilie Wacs And Deborah Strobin, Holocaust Survivors, Search For SS Officer Alois, Who Saved Their Family On Kristallnacht

Ilie Wacs and Deborah Strobin will never forget the terror they felt as they hid inside their apartment in Austria while the sound of Nazi boots drew closer on November 9th and 10th in 1938. They didn’t make a sound on the fateful night of Kristallnacht, known to many Jews as “The Night of Broken Glass,” but their silence wasn’t the only reason that they and their family were spared from the violence.

Their deliverance came in an unexpected form — that of a young Nazi SS officer named Alois, who worked for their father, Mortiz Wachs, at his tailoring business in Vienna. Alois alerted the Wachs of the upcoming pogrom, and urged them to leave Austria before August 31, 1939, which was the day before Germany invaded Poland and World War II broke out.

Wacs, who was eleven at the time, recalls how Alois’ protection helped them remain safe on Kristallnacht in the book, “An Uncommon Journey,” that he co-authored with his sister, Deborah Strobin:

Alois came to our house. His tone was quite grave, and he convinced Papa that something terrible was going to happen. I could tell it was dangerous for him even to be seen in our home. He told Papa, “Gather your family tonight. Tell them to come here. Keep everyone inside. You will not be touched.”

Our building did not have an elevator, only stone steps. I stood inside the door, and I heard hobnail boots coming up, click, click, click, and click. I heard men’s voices. I heard the boots stop at our door, and then I heard them move on. They never even knocked. We were passed over. We were shielded by Alois. We were saved.

The family managed to escape into Italy, then to Shanghai, and the siblings now reside in New York City. They’ve recounted their family history in their book, “An Uncommon Journey,” but one question remains unanswered– what happened to Alois? Wacs and Strobin are on a mission to find him with the little information that they have, so they can honor him with the title of “Righteous Gentile.”

Wacs told The Huffington Post that if he found Alois or his descendants, “I would thank him for saving our lives.” He continued, “To me, it is somewhat of a mystery why a person would be willing to sacrifice his family– because that was what was at stake! But some people did it. If we do find him, he would deservedly be one of the Righteous Gentiles.”

He shared more thoughts about his experience, remarking that many people ask him questions about what he thinks is the moral of the story.

In response, Wacs said, “There is no moral. Life is random. Survival is primarily a matter of luck. We survived because of that man, but if that man hadn’t been around, we wouldn’t have survived. It’s difficult to draw moral conclusions.”

Recalling how he and his family stayed alive, Wacs commented, “The only thing I keep saying, is that the only thing you can do in situations like that, is to be optimistic.”

The siblings will share their story on November 10th at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, marking the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. This follows an art opening on Thursday, November 7th, at the Museum of Tolerance New York, which will host a month-long showing of Wac’s artwork. The exhibit, “A Gathering Storm: The Vienna Papers, 1938” is a collection that draws inspiration from the official documents associated with their lives and identities.

See family photos as well as selected art from Wacs here:

Arts – The Huffington Post
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