Elizabeth Kaufmann Koenig, 79, a Holocaust survivor who became librarian of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, died of a brain tumor April 5 at Integrated Health Services rehabilitation center in Alexandria. She lived in Alexandria.
She was the museum librarian before its official opening in 1993 and was a central figure in organizing its collections. She remained librarian until the mid-1990s, when her health began to fail.
Mrs. Koenig, who was born in Vienna, Austria, was living in Paris when it was occupied by the Germans during World War II.
She told The Washington Post in 1990 that she became one of the thousands of refugees fleeing south to unoccupied French territory.
At times, separated from her family and without funds, she sought refuge in the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in central France. Residents of the village were said to have helped 5,000 refugees, including many children.
Mrs. Koenig came to the United States in 1943, became a U.S. citizen and worked as a librarian for the New York City Public Library.
She came to Washington in 1951 and spent the next eight years as research librarian at the National Library of Medicine.
She then accompanied her husband, an agriculture attache, to Europe, returning to the Washington area in 1987.
Survivors include her husband of 56 years, Ernest Koenig of Alexandria; a daughter, Nicole Sturgeon of England; and a granddaughter.