Eva D. Bernhardt-Kabisch
Eva D. Bernhardt-Kabisch
  • January 4, 1926 - August 23, 2017
  • Bloomington, Indiana

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Eva Dessau Bernhardt-Kabisch died on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, at the Bloomington Hospital, after sustaining severe brain damage as a result of losing consciousness after choking on a piece of fruit. She was 91 years old. Eva was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, as the daughter of the composer Paul Dessau and the actress Gudrun Kabisch. Upon Hitler's assumption of power in 1933, the family had to move to Paris to escape Nazi persecution and eventually emigrated to the United States. Eva spent her teens in New York (attending famed Hunter High School) and New Rochelle, and later moved to Hollywood, where her father worked as a composer of film music. After a first, unhappy marriage to Emanuel Skoor, which produced two children, she met her cousin Ernest Bernhardt-Kabisch on a visit to Germany and the two fell in love. Thanks to a Fulbright stipend, he was able to join her a year later in Berkeley, California, where they got married in 1956 and had a child together in 1961. After he had earned a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of California, they moved to Bloomington in 1962, where he taught in the English Department and she eventually earned a Ph.D. in German literature and taught for some years a IU. From 1990 on, they annually spent several months in Hamburg, Germany.
She is survived and deeply mourned by her husband Ernest, two brothers, Peter Dessau of Spain and Maxim Dessau of Germany, her three children Michael Skoor, Kathryn Gaiser, both of California, and Ethan Bernhardt of Ellettsville, their spouses, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She was a woman of transcendent love, intelligence, wit, and a fierce sense of justice and compassion. There will be a gathering in her memory at the Bernhardt home at 616 S. Jordan on Sunday, September 3rd, from 2 -5 p.m.
Online condolences may be given at www.DayDeremiahFryeFuneralHome.com