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Number of pages: 3
Reference number: 1656/1/4/1111
Catalogue ID: 105527
Subject: Children

The authoress was a little girl of ten when she used to recite poetry in public and accompany on the piano her father G. Servadio who was a violin-virtuoso. One night, at a performance in Frankfurt am Main, Fräulein Bertha Pappenheim, then about forty, was in the audience; obviously much impressed by the artistic gifts of the pretty little girl, she went to see her father and told him about her disapproval: it did not seem right to use a child's talents in public at such a tender age. When he replied that he could not afford to do without her collaboration, Fräulein Pappenheim offered to befray the costs of her education and later training for her artistic career. She kept her promise in the most generous way.

With Fräulein Pappenheim's help the family settled in Vienna, where the child attended school and the young girl was introduced into high society and artistic circles through the influence and recommendation of Fräulein Pappenheim who then provided the means for the attendance of the “Schauspielschule” and helped her in every way to become a most successful and well-known actress.

Number of pages: 8
Reference number: 1656/2/1/133
Catalogue ID: 104766
Subject: Children

Miss Nelly Wolffheim, formerly a well-known nursery teacher and child’s psychologist in Berlin, started after 1933 to train Jewish girls in these subjects, holding seminars, firstly illegal, later officially recognised as “Umschulungslehrgaenge” of the Jewish Community.

Number of pages: 5
Reference number: 1656/2/1/175
Catalogue ID: 104767
Subject: RescuePolishSchools

This report is a sworn statement in which the author tells what he and his family experienced in Hamburg from 1933 - 1939. Later, his parents were deported to Poland, after he and his brother were taken to England with a Kindertransport.

The father was forced to give up one business after the other to Nazis, as well as his lodgings. After a car accident, in which he was gravely injured, he went to court, won the case, but did not get a compensation; the bill amounting to RM 2000 was paid by a friend of his. From September to November 1938 he was in Buchenwald.

The report describes the school surrounded by SS; some children beaten; the author and his brother were rescued by a non-Jewish lady and teachers were arrested. Two SS-men smashing up a synagogue fell to their deaths.

In 1947, the two brothers were naturalised in England and served subsequently five years each in the British Army, in Korea and Malaysia respectively. Unable to find the jobs which would secure their future, they are trying to save the money for emigration to Canada.

Number of pages: 9
Reference number: 1656/2/2/1165
Catalogue ID: 104804
Subject: SchoolsChildrenNovember Pogrom
Summary: A former headmistress of a training college for teachers at infant schools reports on her experiences in Vienna under the Nazi régime until her emigration with her husband (in January 1939) to Shanghai, China, where a cousin of hers, a refugee from the Russian revolution, had settled many years previously (p.4-8). She soon got a job at a school for refugee children and infants, which developed rapidly (p.4-5). The pupils would hail from any kind of social background from big towns and small villages in China, India, Russia, Germany, C.S.R., Austria, Hungary; they were all very nervous, but would go on very well with each other (p.7-8). Dangerous climate; bombardments, no shelters, in 1945 and 1946; Japanese terror; persecutors Wiedemann, Goya (p.5).

Return to Europe with the help of the authorities, the Committee of Refugees (p.4, 7) and the Austrian Residents Association (p.7); bad conditions (p.6); Red Cross at Austrian frontier (p.7). Arrival in Vienna, on 13 February 1947; new job as a teacher.

Number of pages: 18
Reference number: 1656/2/5/178
Catalogue ID: 104885
Subject: Children

Mr M. Mitzman, secretary of the Women's Appeal Committee of the Central British Fund, reports on his impressions during a visit to Germany, Austria and Poland in 1939. He was particularly interested in the work of the Youth Aliyah and the measures taken by other Jewish bodies to prepare the emigration of young people to Palestine. He mentions the Youth Aliyah camp at Gut Winkel (Germany) with over 200 children; the numerous workshops for instruction in handicraft in Vienna; the preparatory camps at Mossbrunn and near the Semmering (Austria); and the agricultural training establishments in Poland.

The author states that in Poland even then many Jewish shops were boycotted, and that the Jewish population there was, on the whole, very poor.

Number of pages: 4
Reference number: 1656/2/6/1133
Catalogue ID: 104926
Subject: CatholicsRescueAuschwitz main camp (concentration camp)

An interview with a doctor’s widow who had lived in comfortable circumstances in Vienna, until the Nazis took over. After sending her only child, a ten-year-old daughter, to a well-off Dutchman and his Jewish wife in Holland, she tried in vain to get an opportunity of emigrating with her husband. At last, she agreed to take a domestic job in an English household, offered her by a Catholic organisation, because she was told about a chance, that her husband could follow her there. She had been a most efficient secretary, but at her new job she soon knew that she could not cope with the work in the farmer’s big household at Eversham, Worcestershire. Much worse, she discovered to be pregnant after a week’s time. In her despair, she wrote for help to the couple in Holland who were very happy with her child and had offered her their assistance in case of need; she was deeply disappointed and told her plight to her employers and from that moment on gratefully enjoyed their unlimited kindliness and generosity until well after the time of her delivery of a still-born child.

All the time during the War, she tried in vain to hear from her child or her husband. In 1945, she traced the Dutch couple and received the news, that the lady, before going into hiding herself, had taken her daughter to a Jewish children's home, from where she together with all other children had been sent to Auschwitz and gassed.

Later, she learned by chance, that her husband had served as a doctor at Theresienstadt. Once he had to accompany a transport to Auschwitz, and as an exception had returned, but he did not come back, the second time.

Number of pages: 50
Reference number: 1656/3/4/197
Catalogue ID: 105322
Subject: RescueResistanceSynagogues

A personal report by Heinz Landwirth, formerly from Vienna, who came with a children's transport to Holland in December 1938. He stayed first in a Children's Home, later with families. In 1941 he made Youth Aliyah to the Hachscharah-Farm Gouda. In 1942 the persecution of Jews became more and more threatening. This report includes details of an escape of a group of 25 young Zionists to Israel through Spain!. Amsterdam assumed an aspect of decay, inhibition and terror. Final razzia, including all Jews, on 20 June 1943. Mr Landwirth, meanwhile was 16-years-old, and went underground using false documents supplied by Hechaluz (Kurt Reilinger Gideon Drach) working as a farm hand with Jan Kuperus. In 1943 - via Belgium - he became known as the ‘Dutch’ boatsman John Gerrit Overbeck on one of the German Rhine barges.

Number of pages: 7
Reference number: 1656/3/4/393
Catalogue ID: 105333
Subject: RescueBergen-Belsen (concentration camp)Auschwitz-Birkenau (concentration and...

Mrs Rieger's child was taken from a Jewish home in Berlin and put to death; this was about 1939. Mrs Rieger was drafted for forced labour and worked at the firm of “Auto Kabel”, where she was treated very kindly by the Lady Foreman, a Mrs Brand, as well as by the head of the firm.

In 1943 she went to live in hiding, working illegally for the film author Axel Eggebrecht.

Finally she was arrested and taken first to Auschwitz, then to Bergen Belsen, and finally to Salzwedel. From the last named camp she was liberated by the Americans.

Number of pages: 16
Reference number: 1656/3/4/458
Catalogue ID: 105337
Subject: AntisemitismDenunciationsMixed marriage

Personal report. When the author was about ten years old, the family would be blackmailed by an SA-man, so that they moved into another district to escape from him. In the Margareten-Lyzeum, Ifflandstrasse, attended by 14 Jewish girls, the atmosphere was so antisemitic, that she left the school after some months. She attended a Jewish school until October 1937, and as she hoped to emigrate, went in for dressmaking. Compulsory work: Moeller, Children's Coats, Schützenstrasse (p.2). With the Fabrikaktion, her parents were deported to Auschwitz; on the way, her mother threw a postcard out of the wagon, which was sent to Berlin in an envelope with the words added: “Eine Frau, die noch menschlich denkt”. There came no further sign of life from them; but her brother, an electrician, survived the camp (p.3).

In February 1943, the author went into hiding; she lived with Turkish Jews whose daughter was her friend. Through a Jewish informer, Rechtsanwalt Jacob, they were found out; during the house-search, the Jewish informer Behrend fell in love with the author which circumstance she utilised to escape from the Gestapo as well as from him. Through her customer Lola Alexander she found refuge in the family Daene's house at Conradshöhe, where Miss Alexander and other Jews already lived illegally, in August 1943 (p.3-5). She started to manage the Dänes’ lending library in Moabit and would meet her friend on their way home at the S-Bahn Station Gesundbrunnen, every night. There, on 8 August 1944, she suddenly felt her arm grasped by the informer Behrend. She threw herself under an incoming train and was rescued with her foot smashed (p.6). She lay in the Jewish Hospital dangerously ill, for many months; Dr. Lustig rescued her from being sent to Auschwitz through a very long treatment instead of an amputation (p.7-8). Fever and starvation; living in the cellar. When all patients were released, on 29 April, she was too weak to leave, weighing 31kg, and had to stay on until 30 June 1945, then protected and assisted efficiently by the Russians.

Number of pages: 18
Reference number: 1656/3/4/460
Catalogue ID: 105339
Subject: DeportationsRescuePrisoners of war

Report by a Jewish woman who with her small child lived illegally in Germany from 27 February 1943, the day of mass arrests of Jews in Berlin.

At first, she, her husband and her child lived underground in Berlin with the aid of non-Jewish friends. In February 1944 she succeeded in obtaining false papers and moved with her child to Lippinck in Western Prussia (Polish Corridor), where she gained the trust of Nazi Party and Security Police members. She had contact with Polish Partisans of the “Tuchler Heide” and was able to inform them about the Security Police plans for partisan warfare. Once she cooperated in helping escaped British Prisoners of war. In February 1945 she succeeded in returning to Berlin, where her husband had lived illegally all the time. He narrowly escaped being shot as a deserter.

Number of pages: 8
Reference number: 1656/3/4/773
Catalogue ID: 105358
Subject: ChildrenEscapees

This report is interesting because it shows the important role the Jewish resistance movement played during the German occupation of France and the many ways in which it was assisted by the French population. It is written by the above, who in 1933, as a child of 6, left Frankfurt am Main with her parents and her sister and emigrated to France.

As soon as Hitler invaded Northern France in 1940, the travels of the family started. They were among the thousands and thousands of refugees who crowded the roads to the south of France, stayed at different places which they had always to leave after a short while. Mr Guenzburg, the father, was several times interned, but either was released or succeeded to escape from the camp. In autumn 1943, when the Germans occupied the south of France, the Jewish resistance movement saw to it that all children found shelter. The Resistance was so well organized that it was able to follow up the fate of almost every child. Many of the children were taken, to convents and were thought by their surroundings to be Christians.

Mrs Unger and her sister were taken to a boarding School at Villeneuve sur Lot, where only the director, a Protestant knew their origin. In 1944 Mrs Unger and her father crossed the Spanish border in one of the small groups of 10 people, regularly organized by the resistance. With the help of the American Joint, they finally reached Israel. Mrs Guenzburg and her other daughter, who were staying in a home for aged people belonging to the “Heilsarmee” at Tonnein and would not have been able to endure the flight over the mountains, followed them a year later.

Number of pages: 6
Reference number: 1656/3/5/23
Catalogue ID: 105528
Subject: SchoolsChildrenCzech

Miss X. was living with her Aryan mother and Nazi stepfather in Breslau; had, on the whole, no unpleasant personal experiences. School (1941 last year of Abiturium for “Non-Aryans”). “Pflichtjahr” (instead of six months' Labour Service). Ration cards had to be fetched from a special centre for every household with a non-Aryan, which was compromising. She had to leave a position as a shop assistant in a music shop because it would bring her into contact with the general public.

In forced labour camp: Organisation Todt; Unternehmen Berthold; unpleasant circumstances; the author states cynical outlook on sexual behavior. She had a chance of marrying an Aryan Czech, i.e. “a man of inferior nationality” since her father had not received a University education; thus there was deemed to be little risk of her transmitting “Jewish intelligence” to her children.

Miss X. is now living in London with her Jewish father.

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