Dr. Dorothee Einstein Krahn (1922-2010)
author of Am I A Holocaust Survivor?
Dorothee Einstein Krahn, 88, who escaped Nazi Germany as a teenager and became a mathematician for several U. S. government agencies, died Saturday, June 26, 2010, at the Sakonnet Bay Manor in Tiverton, R.I. Dr. Krahn had been a resident of Silver Spring, Maryland, for more than fifty years before moving to Rhode Island in 2008.
Dorothee Einstein was born in Offenbach, Germany, the only child in a middle-class Jewish family. In her memoir of her early life, “Am I a Holocaust Survivor?”, she describes her parents’ insistence that she learn English from a family friend so that she might find refuge from the increasingly stringent Nazi oppression of German Jews before World War II.
She fled in 1938 via the Kindertransport program, which took her to England; her parents joined her there shortly before the war began the next year. She attended the Badminton School and received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and Latin from Birkbeck College, University of London, in 1942.
In 1952, she married a fellow mathematician, Edgar Krahn, an Estonian who earned his higher education in Germany. They immigrated to the United States the following year.
Beginning in 1953 she held a series of jobs in mathematics, initially at the University of Maryland Mathematics Department, followed by several years in the Mathematical Analysis Division at Naval Ordinance Laboratory. She earned a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Maryland in 1971.
Dr. Krahn continued her career as a statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and as a Senior Statistician at the Immigration and Naturalization Service, from which she retired in 1986.
She loved classical music, especially opera, and as an adult learned to play the cello; she continued playing, until age 86. Interestingly, she helped start the opera club at Sakonnet Bay Manor. She translated two books from German to English. She was a staunch supporter of environmental issues, human rights, and animal welfare. Dr. Krahn also remained active at the University of Maryland and endowed scholarships in the music and mathematics departments.