Margot Heuman, Who Bore Witness to the Holocaust as a Homosexual Girl, Dies at 94


In New York, Ms. Heuman labored in a button manufacturing facility, as a nanny and as a waitress. She met Lu Burke, who would go on to be a duplicate editor at The New Yorker, and so they lived collectively as a pair within the West Village. Ms. Burke improved Ms. Heuman’s English by studying the dictionary along with her. (At The New Yorker, Ms. Burke was a infamous and feared language martinet, nicknamed Sarge by the manufacturing workers.)

Ms. Heuman attended Metropolis Faculty, and within the early 1950s took a job as what was identified on the time as a “woman Friday” at Doyle Dane Bernbach, then a fledgling promoting company. She labored there till her retirement at 60, finally overseeing budgets and work move as a visitors director for the corporate. She married Charles Mendelson, an accountant, in 1952; that they had two youngsters and divorced in 1976.

“I felt I owed it to my dad and mom to have youngsters,” Ms. Heuman stated in a 2019 speak. However she additionally owed it to herself to go away the wedding when it went south and her youngsters had left the home. “Life is just too quick,” she stated.

A couple of years in the past, Ms. Heuman determined to come back out formally to her son and her daughter-in-law, Lyndsey Layton, deputy editor of The New York Occasions local weather desk; they had been nonplused, having by no means considered her as closeted. Nor did her daughter, Jill Mendelson. “I all the time knew,” Ms. Mendelson stated. “It was by no means a dialogue.” When she phoned Ms. Layton and introduced that she was homosexual, Ms. Layton recalled, she responded, “Sure, sure you’re, Margot!”

Ms. Heuman dealt with her survivor’s legacy a bit the way in which she dealt with her sexuality. It wasn’t hidden, however she didn’t declare herself. She waited till her youngsters requested her questions on it, and she or he answered them in what she discovered to be an age-appropriate method. When her daughter was very younger, she stated her Auschwitz tattoo was her cellphone quantity, put there so she wouldn’t neglect.

“I don’t do not forget that,” Ms. Mendelson stated in an interview, “however I all the time knew she was a battle survivor.”

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