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BY MARINA DUTZMANN KIRSCH 



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Marina Dutzmann Kirsch, the daughter of Flight of Remembrance protagonists, Rolf and Lilo, grew up in a German immigrant family during the expansive 1950s in the American near-West. On the brink of her family’s odyssey to the New World in December of 1951, she was born in the postwar Old World in Zurich, Switzerland. More than fifty years later, her love of an intriguing story led her on a “journey of remembrance” to research and record in book form the experiences of her family during the tumultuous years of 1921 through World War II in Latvia, occupied Poland, and Germany, which included unearthing facts about her grandfather’s assignment as V-2 rocket chief inspector during the war at the top secret installation of Mittelwerk. In September 2011, she went on a “pilgrimage of remembrance” to the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial in Nordhausen, Germany to donate family documents and to pay respect to the memory of the inmates who perished there. Other documents from the family archives have been donated to the Space History Division of the Smithsonian. Marina also reached back more than half a century to forge a new connection with the people of Wakarusa, Indiana—the tiny farming community with a great big heart that sponsored her family to immigrate to the US after the war.

After graduating magna cum laude in 1974 from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan with a major in Russian Language and Literature, Marina also studied fashion design, worked in the fashion industry, and later launched a successful graphic design business, completing successful branding, corporate identity, and promotional projects for corporate, non-profit, government, and private clients, as well as book design, editing, and self-publishing support.

Marina resides with her husband in Kensington, New Hampshire and is passionate about social justice causes, animal welfare, and promoting peace in her personal life, her surroundings, and the world. She is a district officer of Toastmasters International and a member and past president of the Exeter Speak-Ups club. She considers the ongoing presentations for Flight of Remembrance—more than eighty events across eight states since 2011—as an avenue to inspire the continued preservation and sharing of memories from World War II, as well as the healing of trauma and the quest for world peace. In October 2016, she was accepted into the NH Humanities-to-Go program which awards grants for her Flight of Remembrance presentation to non-profits all across the Granite State including libraries, museums, historical societies, retirement communities, civic organizations, German-American clubs, and Lifelong Learning institutes.

Click here to read more about Marina's trip to the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial and the circumstances in her family's past that prompted her visit there.

Visit Marina's graphic design site
marinakirschdesign.com