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Marion P. Pritchard
Service: A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

Marion P. Pritchard

Marion P. Pritchard , died on December 11, 2016, at home in Washington, D.C., after a brief illness. 

Mrs. Pritchard was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on November 7, 1920, the daughter of Judge Jacob Van Binsbergen and Grace (Hyde) Van Binsbergen.  She was educated at schools in Amsterdam and in England, and at the Amsterdam School of Social Work.  During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands she worked actively to protect many Jews and others who were subject to persecution, at great risk to herself. Much of her activity involved transporting young Jewish children from one hiding place to another. In one instance she had to shoot a Dutch Nazi collaborator in order to protect a father and his three young children, whom she was hiding.

Following WWII she became a social worker for UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) at camps in Germany occupied by Jewish displaced persons.  While working for UNRRA she met and married Anton A. Pritchard, a former U.S. Army officer who served as director of the UNRRA camp at Windsheim, Bavaria.  She came to the United States with her husband in 1947.  After several early moves, she resided primarily in Waccabuc, New York, then in Vershire, Vermont, and finally in Washington, DC

Mrs. Pritchard’s career as a social worker took her to Four Winds Hospital in Katonah, NY, the Yorktown (NY) public schools, and Orange County Mental Health in Vermont.  In 1983 she graduated from the Boston Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies (Now the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis) and practiced in Vermont.  She also served on the faculty for many years and was involved in the planning and launching of its doctoral program in the study of violence.  She was a sought after supervisor and teacher and at the Institute.

 In 1981, a nomination by someone she had sheltered in the Netherlands led to Marion’s recognition as “Righteous among the Nations” by the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem, Israel. She subsequently became a very active speaker and writer on Holocaust issues, and remained so into her eighties. 

She was honored by many organizations for her efforts during the Holocaust; these included the Raoul Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan, The Simon Wiesenthal Medal of Valor, and honorary doctorates from Clark University and the University of Vermont.  She was also made an honorary citizen of Israel.   She was one of the subjects of “The Courage to Care”, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. She worked extensively with Facing History and Ourselves, which develops educational material on prejudices and injustice in American and European society, with a focus on Nazi Germany and The Holocaust.  For many years she also co-taught a seminar on the Holocaust at Clark University with Professor Deborah Dwork.

Marion Pritchard was loving and caring with family and friends, an involved and conscientious citizen, and a person of great courage and compassion.    On one occasion an adult niece and her husband arrived at her home frazzled from a long trip with four restless children; one of them asked “is there life after children?” Marion calmly replied, “Life is children”. 

She is survived by her three sons: Arnold (Gretchen) of New Haven, CT, Brian of Los Angeles, CA, and Ivor (Therese) of Washington DC, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandson; and also by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.  She was predeceased by her husband, Anton Pritchard, her brother, Jan Van Binsbergen, and a great-grandson.

A Memorial Service will held at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Marion’s memory to Save the Children and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

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