Photo by Scott Edwards / efgimage

Over the past two decades, Magda Brown and her daughter, Rochelle Brown-Rainey, have traveled across the country and around the world, driven by a mission to share Brown’s harrowing story of surviving the Holocaust. Brown embraced every opportunity to reach people, speaking to more than 100,000 people in person — and reaching millions more online.

Brown, or “Grandma Magda” as she was known to most, left each audience with three key lessons: Protect your freedom. Think before you hate. Stand up to the deniers.

Magda (Perlstein) Brown died July 7, 2020 at her daughter’s home in Morton Grove, Ill. She…


Photo by Scott Edwards / efgimage

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How does your heart feel?

That’s the question we often pose to my 5-year-old daughter, Annabelle, and it feels fitting that I ask myself the same thing.

My heart feels sad. My heart feels angry. My heart feels grateful.

My heart feels sad because we have lost my Grandma Magda. My personal hero. The strongest, most resilient, most inspiring person I know. My icon. My positive role model. My caretaker. My biggest fan. My inspiration. My heart.

My heart feels sad because losing her means losing one of the biggest influences in my life. I know…


My grandmother, Magda Brown, excels at building and cultivating relationships. This is inherent in her nature, but she is also driven by a personal mission. She is determined to share her story of surviving the Holocaust with as many people as possible. Through telling her story, she hopes to make future generations conscious of the signs of genocide so they can prevent future atrocities.

Grandma Magda has reached tens of thousands of people through her speeches at schools, synagogues, churches, and events, podcasts and media interviews, and the website I created to share her story. “God blessed me with a…

Amy Rainey

Digital strategist. Proud granddaughter of Holocaust survivor and speaker Magda Brown (http://magdabrown.com). [she/her]

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