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Oral history interview with Flora Mendelowitz Singer

Interview Summary Flora Mendelovicz Singer, born August 16, 1930 in Berchem, Belgium, describes growing up with three sisters; her father's decision to immigrate to the United States in 1938 but not moving with her father because of immigration quotas; going to a state-sponsored summer camp by the sea in 1940; the German invasion of Belgium while she was at the camp; returning to Antwerp, Belgium and then taking off for the French border with her mother and sister; arriving in Calais, France, where they attempted to board a Red Cross ship but were turned away; continuing to Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France, where their journey was halted by the German advance; walking and hitch-hiking back to Antwerp when the Germans issued a decree for all non-French residents to return to their country of origin in June 1940; wearing the yellow star and not being permitted to go to many public locations; fleeing to Brussels, Belgium, where her mother changed the family's name to "Fiers" and had them enroll in a public school; her principal's discovery of their Jewish identity and helping them go into hiding; moving to a convent in Doel, Belgium, where they were hidden by nuns for two months; returning to Brussels when the nuns decided that it was too dangerous to keep them; going to an orphanage in Etterbeek to hide; finding out after the war that Father Bruno Reynders was responsible for hiding her and her sisters, as well as 400 other children; moving to the Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Convent in Werselater in the summer of 1943; reuniting with her mother in May 1944 at the convent; returning to Brussels when Belgium was liberated in October 1944; enrolling in secretarial school after the war; receiving word in December 1945 that her father had served in the US Army and was located in New York; and her immigration to the US on May 29, 1946.
Date 1995 December 12  (interview)
RG Number RG-50.030*0356
Extent 4 videocassettes : Betacam SP.
Language English
Provenance The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Branch conducted the oral history interview with Flora Mendelowitz Singer on December 12, 1995.
Interviewer Randy M. Goldman
Classification video recording
Genre/Form Oral histories.
Geographic Name Antwerp (Belgium)
Berchem (Belgium)
Boulogne-sur-Mer (France)
Brussels (Belgium)
Calais (France)
Doel (Belgium)
Etterbeek (Belgium)
United States--Emigration and immigration.
Personal Name Singer, Flora Mendelowitz, 1930-
Reynders, Bruno, 1903-1981.
Topical Term Catholic Church.
Hidden children (Holocaust)--Belgium--Brussels.
Hidden children (Holocaust)--Belgium--Doel.
Hidden children (Holocaust)--Belgium--Etterbeek.
Hiding places--Belgium--Doel.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Belgium--Personal narratives.
Holocaust survivors--United States.
Jewish children in the Holocaust--Belgium.
Jewish families--Belgium.
Passing (identity)--Belgium--Brussels.
Star of David badges.
World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Rescue--Belgium.
Conditions on Access No restrictions on access
Conditions on Use No restrictions on use
Record Type Oral History
Digital Files
Link to Collection United States Holocaust Memorial Museum oral history collection
Transcript/Notes Transcript of Oral history interview with Flora Mendelowitz Singer [RG-50.030.0356_trs_en.pdf]
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RG-50.030*0356 Oral History Transcript or Notes Transcript of Oral history interview with Flora Mendelowitz Singer
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  Record last modified: 2014-11-28 15:54:56
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