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Lotte  Lachmann
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Memories & Candles

“What a life well lived! I was privledged to share the celebration of your 90th birthday. May your memory be a blessing. ”
1 of 2 | Posted by: Bonnie Russell - Sarasota, FL

“Lotte,May your heart and soul find peace and comfort. I'll keep an eye on your son David - I'll make sure he behaves. :-) Our prayers are with you. ”
2 of 2 | Posted by: Dave Hamilton - Brandon, MS


Lotte B. Lachmann, age 96, of Kew Gardens, NY, died on December 6, 2021. She was born on January 13, 1925 in Mannheim, Germany, the oldest daughter of Georg and Trude (Hockenheimer) Becker. She fled the Nazi regime in 1939 and came to New York, where she made her home, attending Forest Hills High School, Hunter College of the City University of New York, and Columbia University for graduate school. After WW II, she taught at the Lycée Victor-Duruy in Paris while on a fellowship, before returning to the US to continue her graduate studies.

In 1954, she married Karl Lachmann, a refugee from Berlin who worked at the United Nations. They made their home in Kew Gardens with their children Richard, David, and Susan. Following Karl's death in 1968, Lotte returned to teaching at Borough of Manhattan Community College where her French, ESOL, Hebrew, and German classes taught not just language, but literature, culture, art, history, and much more. She took an interest in her students, many of whom were the first in their families to attend college, nurturing them, mentoring them, and, often, forming lifelong bonds.

In later years, she added journalism to her professional accomplishments, researching stories about the latest developments in science, technology, and society for publications like Die Zeit and Der Spiegel.

Lotte's passions were wide-ranging. She was an accomplished painter, a lover of nature, and there wasn't a week when she wasn't at the theater, the opera, a concert, or a gallery, usually trailed by one of more of her children. She loved to travel, and visited every corner of the world, departing from the usual tourist spots to bring back keen insights and understanding of people and events.

She was also a passionate campaigner for peace and social justice. She could be seen marching and campaigning into her 80s. She was always informed about world events and never short of insights or opinions.

She is survived by her son, David Lachmann, her grandchildren Derrick Lachmann, Derrick's spouse Lindsey (Steck) Lachmann, Madeleine Lachmann, and Caitlyn Conklin, her twin great grandchildren Jonah and Reed Lachmann, her daughters-in-law Arlyn Miller-Lachmann and Melinda Lee Maddox, a son-in-law, Philip Humphrey, and her sister, Ruth Becker. She was predeceased by her husband Karl Lachmann, her son, Richard Lachmann, and daughter, Susan Lachmann-Humphrey.

Funeral services will be held at the Greenwich Village Funeral Home, 199 Bleecker Street, NYC, on Friday, December 10, 2021, at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to City Harvest or the New York Public Library.