Obituary: Linda Haar Douglas, 1933-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Linda Haar Douglas, 1933-2022 

Holocaust survivor had an enduring appreciation for all of life’s gifts

Published January 16, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated January 16, 2023 at 11:23 a.m.

click to enlarge Linda Haar Douglas - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Linda Haar Douglas

Linda Douglas died peacefully on December 22, 2022, surrounded by her family, as she had wished. She had been diagnosed with lymphoma on December 1 and chose to receive hospice care in her room at the Sterling House in Richmond, Vt. She expressed deep gratitude for a life that felt complete and faced the end without regret. She was one month from her 90th birthday.

Linda, née Henny Haar, was a Holocaust survivor. Born Jewish in Berlin, two days before Hitler became chancellor, Henny’s childhood was framed by the dominance of the Nazi party and the Second World War. With the courageous guidance of her Lithuanian mother, Rosa, and against all odds, she managed to hide until the Allied forces liberated Berlin in 1945. Together, they evaded the SS until they were captured, then escaped from a labor camp ahead of the arrival of the trains to the death camps. They found refuge with a network of contacts, Rosa worked the black market at night, and they withstood the devastating bombings of the city. Forced to seek sanctuary in Czechoslovakia with fake papers, Henny’s father, Sigmund Haar, was eventually captured and executed. After the war, Henny and her mother lived in Switzerland with one of the families that had protected them, until they gained passage to America in 1947.

click to enlarge Linda Haar Douglas - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Linda Haar Douglas

New York City became her home and the city that she loved. Henny changed her name to Linda. She reveled in the arts and culture that New York had to offer and frequented the theater, opera, jazz clubs and museums. Literature was her great comfort; she was an avid reader until the end. In 1966, she married the artist Stephen Douglas and moved to Yorktown Heights in Westchester, N.Y. After their divorce, Linda relocated to Great Neck, Long Island, with her three children. She wrote poetry as a means of expressing her pains and joys, and, in the 1990s, she created a small, locally successful jewelry business, Linda’s Treasures.

In 1997, she came to live in Williston, Vt., to be close to her daughter, Stephanie, who was beginning her own family, and her son Jordan. Linda enjoyed the natural beauty of Vermont and developed a wonderful community of friends. Mainly an introvert, she was shy about her dimensional history yet held an enduring appreciation for all of life’s gifts.

Linda was predeceased by her son Gavin in 2017 and is survived by her other children, the Realtor Stephanie Douglas and photographer Jordan Douglas, as well as her grandchildren, Jasmine, Skye, Isla and Iona, to whom she was their beloved “Nima.”

Linda Douglas was buried on December 26 with a humble ceremony at the Ahavath Gerim Cemetery in South Burlington, next to her remarkable mother, who died in 2001.

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