Activist, educator and author Robert Treuer dies at age 89


BEMIDJI -- Former Beltrami County Commissioner Robert Treuer died last Friday in Duluth at age 89, leaving behind a legacy of activism and the written word.

Treuer's life began far away from the northland he eventually called home. He was born on Jan. 31, 1926, in Vienna, Austria. He and his family were forced to leave just over a decade later in 1938 because of their Jewish heritage and the Nazi takeover in Austria, according to his son, BSU professor Anton Treuer.

A year after escaping the Nazi regime, Treuer and his family eventually arrived in the United States. Just a few years later, at age 17, he signed up to serve in the Army. However, while Treuer hoped he would get a chance to fight in Europe, his orders took him to the Pacific Theater. The Army had Treuer attend Yale University for Japanese language skills before being stationed in the Philippines in World War II, Anton said.


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