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Oral history interview with Susan Feingold

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.385.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0244

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Susan Feingold (née Sosanna Frank), born December 17, 1924 in Krefeld, Germany, discusses having a serene childhood in a well-to-do, extended Jewish family; her quiet father (born in Wintrich); her “leftist” mother (born in Krefeld), who was a classical singer; her first sense of the rise of antisemitism in 1933; the expulsion of Jews from school; receiving both sympathy and harassment from non-Jewish classmates; her pride in being Jewish; the liquidation of her father’s store following Kristallnacht; prohibitions against Jews in public; being assaulted in her home by Nazis who demanded to know the location of the family’s “foreign money;” her parents’ decision to send her to England with the assistance of the Committee for Jewish Refugees; her difficult goodbye to her parents; conditions for the children on board the train; her placement with a kind Jewish couple in England; the letters she exchanged with her parents; how communications ceased when her parents were sent to Treblinka concentration camp; evacuations during high school; how the American Joint Distribution Committee assisted with her immigration to the United States in 1946; studying with exiled German director, Erwin Piscator (famed critic of Hitler’s tyranny), and appearing in numerous TV, Broadway, and off-Broadway productions; marrying actor Lester Feingold; her daughter who passed away at age 40; founding Bloomingdale Family Program; her belief that her experiences in the past made her a better person; and how her pain, guilt, and tremendous need to protect freedom shaped her commitment as director of the Head Start program.

Interviewee
Ms. Susan Feingold
Interviewer
Julie Kopel
Date
2015 May 15  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 digital files : WAV.