Civil rights activist Lore Rasmussen dies

Lore Rasmussen, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany who became an American civil rights activist and pioneer in mathematics education, died Jan. 23 at her home in Berkeley. She was 88.

Born Lore May in Lampertheim-am-Rhein, Germany, in 1920, she escaped to the United States in 1938. She completed her college education at the University of Illinois on a scholarship from the Hillel Foundation

and married sociologist Donald Rasmussen in 1940.

In 1942, the couple moved to Alabama, where both taught at Talladega College, a historically African American school. During their tenure, they and an African American friend spent a night in the Birmingham jail for eating together in a restaurant.

The couple’s experiences in Alabama were recounted in “From Swastika to Jim Crow,” a 2001 PBS documentary about Holocaust refugees in the U.S. civil rights movement. — jta