Margaret (Less) McQuillan is a retired elementary school principal and performing and fine arts director. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees are from the University of California. She worked in several school districts in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Throughout her career, she has emphasized the importance of multicultural education, the arts, and global citizenship. She is deeply committed to issues focused on diversity and tolerance.
Margaret’s paternal Jewish grandparents were merchants in Lüneburg, Germany, and her father, Walter Less, emigrated in 1934 to San Francisco, California when he was sixteen years old. She wrote “An Orange in Winter” as a work of historical fiction based on her father’s autobiography. Her book describes the life of a young Jewish boy in the early 1930s and his close friend, Hans, who later became a “Hitlerjunge”.
“An Orange in Winter” was written as a short story for her two children in order to personalize and explain the prejudice and discrimination that led up to the Holocaust. She later expanded the story to include further research, documents, and photographs to create a curriculum unit for upper elementary students. It now includes a study guide for teachers and has been used in classrooms and workshops for adolescents and adults.
Since her first visit to Lüneburg in 2009, Margaret McQuillan collaborates with the registered association History Workshop Lüneburg to support research, documentation, and information of National Socialism in Lüneburg.
Margaret currently lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts with her husband, Mark.
Comments and questions can be sent to her at