Woman Who Fled Nazis Dies in Ossining Home Fire

Woman, 84, tried desperately to escape inferno

Monday, Feb 21, 2011  |  Updated 7:49 PM EDT
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Woman Who Fled Nazis Dies in Ossining Home Fire

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Fireman using hose on house fire, rear view, night

An 84-year-old historian who as young girl fled the Nazis after Kristallnacht died Monday trying to escape a roaring fire in her Ossining home.

Charlotte Arner had tried desperately to escape the fire consuming her two-story home on Noel Drive. She was found just steps away from her door.

"When we went to the front door we were unable to open it partially," said Fire Chief Thomas Reddy. "That's where we found the victim."

Arner, a respected archivist and translator, had lived alone after being widowed and had been writing her memoirs, according to neighbors

Arner's neighbor, Patty Chapman, told the The Journal News that she was "great, up and out  every day, still driving her silver Beetle. My dog just died, and she's been coaching me to get another dog. She was very funny."

Arner had lived in Berlin until she was 12 but then fled to America with her family. They survived the horrible night in November 1938 known as Kristallinacht when hundreds were killed and pograms wiped out Jewish homes, firms and temples.


 

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