Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Laura M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4355) interviewed by Laurel Vlock,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4355

Videotape testimony of Laura M., who was a social worker for the National Refugee Service, then the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. She recalls arriving in Havana, Cuba in February 1939; dealing with many German Jewish refugees; knowing in advance the St. Louis was arriving and its passengers would not be allowed to disembark; the staff not sleeping for the eight days the ship was in harbor in their efforts to assist; her colleague visiting the ship daily; arranging disembarkation in European countries other than Austria and Germany; transfer to Shanghai in April 1941; working with the American consulate dealing with German and Austrian Jewish refugees; deplorable conditions in Hongkou including overcrowding, lack of food, and lack of sanitation; instructions from New York to leave for the Philippines in August; orders to return to Shanghai in October; Japanese invasion in December; organizing committees and the schools to function without them; internment in a nearby camp as an enemy; feigning illness to go to the hospital in Shanghai; an Italian doctor keeping her there for six weeks; repatriation to the United States in December 1943; and working with survivors in Brussels after the war. Ms. M. discusses the plight of Jews who were forced to flee and had no place where they could legally enter, and postwar survivors noting the importance of luck to their survival and her opinion it was the same in her own life.

M., Laura.
New Haven, Conn. : Holocaust Survivors Film Project, 1980
Interview Date
October 8, 1980.
Havana (Cuba)
Shanghai (China)
Hongkou Qu (Shanghai, China)
Brussels (Belgium)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Laura M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4355). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.