Gerda Israelski-Rose Wasserman, a survivor of the Riga Ghetto, 99


Gerda Israelski-Rose Wasserman, 99, died in her sleep in her Riverdale home on Sunday, April 5, 2020. She was a 65-year resident of Riverdale.

She was raised in Sehnde, Germany. She and her family were forced by German troops to leave their home in 1941 with transport to a labor camp in Riga, Latvia. Her mother Thea, father Siegfried and younger brother Hans Georg died in 1942 at the Riga Ghetto, but she survived through the liberation in 1945.

She emigrated to New York City in 1947, met Henry Wasserman, and they married in 1949. Their son Steven was born in 1950, but he died in a plane crash in 1985. Henry passed away in 1997.

She enjoyed the local community of Riverdale, and also loved winter stays in Florida, as well as many trips with her husband to Mexico and Europe. She enjoyed fashion, art, current events, celebrity news and politics.

In 2018, author Hans-Hermann Seiffert completed his research on the life of Gerda Israelski-Rose Wasserman, and published his book, “A Jewish Woman from Sehnde Comes Back.”

She is survived by her daughter-in-law, Barbara Wasserman; her grandchildren Karin Wegner (husband Dan Wegner) and Peter Wasserman (wife Raquel Katzan Wasserman); and her beloved great-grandchildren, Eve Jordan, David Harris and George Aitken Wegner, and Noa Rose and Esta Helene Wasserman.

Private funeral services were held April 8, 2020, conducted by Rabbi Avi Weiss.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to young Jewish learning by way of PJ Library at

Gerda Israelski-Rose Wasserman,