Andie Weiner, a fourth year student and combined theatre and psychology major, has been named the Holocaust Legacy Gideon Klein Scholar for the next academic year. The Gideon Klein Award, which is supported by the Holocaust Legacy Foundation, offers funding to a student of any major to create an original work, prepare a performance or do research related to art or artists of the Holocaust. The selected student then offers a public presentation at Northeastern during Holocaust and Genocide Awareness week.
Weiner is planning to create a biographical solo theatrical performance about the intersection of the lives of Hellen Copenhagen Groothuis, a Jewish mother with a newborn baby and the Christian Van De Meerendonk family.
The performance will also serve as a culminaton of Weiner’s time at Northeastern as her senior capstone project. But for Weiner, it’s about telling her family’s story: Weiner’s grandfather was hidden by a Catholic family in the Netherlands during the war.
While the specific circumstances are not known to the family because Weiner’s grandfather was only a newborn when this event occurred, it is known that the family managed to reunite and escape to the United States in 1948. Weiner’s family remains in contact with the family who hid her grandfather and visits them frequently in the Netherlands. Part of Weiner’s research involves traveling to the Netherlands in January to research local records and conduct interviews to piece together more of her family’s story.
In addition to preserving her own family’s story, Weiner also hoped to integrate her academic interest into this performance as it will serve as her Capstone project from her time at Northeastern as a combined psychology and theater major- an unconventional combination that Weiner pitched to the university herself.
Through her psychology coursework, Weiner found herself to be particularly interested in the subject of developmental psychology as well as research surrounding the psychological impacts of the separation of a child and their mother at birth. For this reason, the performance will explore this story through the lens and dialogue Jewish mothers in the Holocaust who had to give up their children for safety and non-Jewish mothers took these children in, knowing the risks of hiding them.
Weiner will create the first iteration of her script by December, prior to leaving for the Netherlands to conduct more research. She will return in March to perform during Northeastern’s Genocide Awareness Week in March.
Weiner is pursuing a combined major in Theatre and Psychology. She has worked with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as well as WayFair. In addition to her work at Northeastern, Weiner serves as the president of The Downbeats, a DJ on WRBB and as a Husky Ambassador.