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This profile was last updated on 4/9/10  and contains information from public web pages.

Professor Emerita of Biology

Phone: (765) ***-****  HQ Phone
The Purdue Exponent
P.O. Box 2506
West Lafayette, Indiana 47906
United States

Company Description: The Purdue Exponent is an independent student newspaper published by a not-for-profit Indiana corporation known as the Purdue Student Publishing Foundation.

Employment History


  • B.S. degree , bacteriology
6 Total References
Web References
Anna Berkovitz had a normal ..., 9 April 2010 [cached]
Anna Berkovitz had a normal childhood until 1944. Now, years later, she still has nightmares of her family being taken from their home by the Nazis.
"I was 13 years old at the time when I was taken with my family to Auschwitz, just before D-Day," said Berkovitz, Purdue Professor Emerita of biology.
At the concentration camp, Berkovitz and her family faced grim odds of survival.
Her survival, as Berkovitz says, can only be accounted for by a series of miracles. After six months in Auschwitz and another camp and forced labor in an airplane factory, Berkovitz and her mother were packed into a train with other prisoners without food or water for nine days.
This year, Berkovitz will be attending the conference, but participating in these events brings personal pain.
"It's very difficult for me ... to me it's just like it happened yesterday, so I don't need a conference to remember."
Still, Berkovitz recognizes and even asserts the necessity of the conference and sees participating as a duty.
"I think I owe it to the people who died to be remembered."
Berkovitz's story does not end in Sweden; rather, her rescue from tyranny marks the start of a new journey that defies the unthinkable trauma of the Holocaust.
In Sweden, Berkovitz maintains that she suffered from no depression or bitterness and looked forward to the future.
"I could have lived my life as a victim, but I did not," she said.
Coming to the U.S. with her mother, she settled in Los Angeles and went to school to "make something" of herself. In short time, she mastered the English language, was accepted to the University of California-Los Angeles for biology and graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa with high honors. She married and had two children six months later. Living near Purdue, where her husband was a professor, she enrolled in graduate school and eventually became a faculty member in 1968. She still teaches genetics in the University Honors Program, many years and teaching accolades later.
Preventing scars such as these in others is a duty for Berkovitz; an obligation driving her to participate in programs such as the Holocaust Remembrance Conference.
Anna ..., 12 Nov 2007 [cached]
Anna BerkovitzSurvivor, Professor Emerita of Biology
Anna was born in MukaÄevo (Munkács) then in Czechoslovakia in 1930.This region, also known as Ruthenia, was later annexed by Hungary, then by the U.S.S.R. and now is part of the Ukraine.
In May 1944, Anna and her parents, Elizabeth and Eugene Weiszhausz, as well as her grandparents and their extended family were deported to Auschwitz.
Anna and Elizabeth were taken to Camp-C in Birkenau.To this day Anna ponders how she survived six months of brutal treatment, harsh conditions, starvation and disease there.
In November 1944, Anna and Elizabeth were transferred to a slave labor camp near Magdeburg, Germany, where they were put to work in an underground ammunition factory.Ten days prior to the end of World War II, they were liberated by the Swedish Red Cross and taken to Sweden, where they spent three months in a sanatorium recovering from malnutrition and physical and emotional traumas.Anna is forever thankful for the care and hospitality afforded them by their Swedish hosts.
In April 1946, Anna and Elizabeth emigrated to the United States.They arrived in Los Angeles pennyless and not speaking English.In order to resume her schooling, Anna worked as an au-pair for several years.During this time she completed four years of high school and four years of college, graduating from U.C.L.A. in January 1952 with a B.S. degree in bacteriology and with Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude honors.While working as a laboratory technician, Anna met Leonard Berkovitz, who was then a post-doctoral fellow at Caltech.
During this period Anna worked part time in various cancer research laboratories.
When Kenneth was in kindergarten, Anna decided to continue her formal education.She was accepted as a graduate student in the biology department at Purdue University.She was working on her Ph.D. thesis when, in 1967, she was asked to take a temporary teaching position to fill an unexpected vacancy in the department.This temporary position turned into a lifetime career of teaching, and while Anna never obtained her Ph.D., she earned a tenured position from which she retired in 2003 as Professor Emerita in Biology.
Anna's efforts as a teacher, her dedication to her students and to the discipline were amply recognized by her students, colleagues and the administration.She was selected by the students as one of the Top Ten Outstanding Teachers in the School of Science 14 times, she received the Murphy Award, the top recognition of teaching excellence by the University, and was given the Chiscon Award for outstanding teaching performance by the Biology department.Anna was elected to the Teaching Academy at Purdue and her name is in the Purdue Book of Great Teachers.
In her retirement Anna has more time to travel, attend theater, to be active in her Temple, and to winter in California.But, what she most enjoys is still interacting with young people, be it her own five grandchildren or students at the University.She currently participates in the University Honors Program, where she developed a new course, "The New Genetics - New Perspectives, New Dilemmas," which she teaches in the Fall semesters.
8 p.m. Sunday: "Revisiting Auschwitz," ..., 3 Mar 2007 [cached]
8 p.m. Sunday: "Revisiting Auschwitz," Anna Berkovitz, Survivor, Rawls Hall - Room 1086, Purdue University, West Lafayette
7:30 p.m. Tuesday: "New Directions in the Jewish-Christian Dialogue," St. Thomas Aquinas, 535 W. State St., West Lafayette.
There are workshops, panel discussions and, at 8 p.m. Sunday, a discussion by Holocaust survivor Anna Berkovitz of West Lafayette.
31st Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Confernce: Program, 15 Nov 2011 [cached]
Moderator: Anna Berkovitz
31st Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Confernce: Reflections on Kristallnacht, 5 Sept 2005 [cached]
Anna Berkovitz (Moderator)
See Program for details
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