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Oral history interview with Edith Zanders de Silber

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.29.30 | RG Number: RG-50.590.0030

Edith Zanders de Silber, born in 1914 in Lobberich, Germany, describes her family’s background; the five Jewish families in the town, who all got along with the Catholic majority; her two brothers; her father’s fabrics and clothing manufacturing business; her father’s participation in WWI; her grandfather’s role as the spiritual leader of the community for 40 years; learning Judaism and Hebrew from her grandfather; her parents’ limited participation in Jewish observances; attending a Catholic high school; not experiencing antisemitism at school and celebrating Christmas as well as Chanukah and Passover with her friends; studying the Bible and Jewish History with Dr. Bluhm; the Zionist Jewish youth organizations in Germany and the “Kultur Verein” (Cultural Union), which were stopped after 1933; the beginning of a new group called “the little black flag,” which a Jewish German-nationalist group; the Bund deutsch-judische Jugend; her participation in the Tzentral Verein Deutscher Juden, which believed that they were German of Jewish religion; her father’s rejection of emigration; her participation in a Jewish group she and other young people created in Krefeld with the spiritual guidance of Rabbi Günter Friedländer; the restrictions put on the Jews and how the group experienced them; receiving help from the Joint to emigrate and leaving Krefeld for Berlin, Germany in October 1938; her journey with a group of 25 youths to Buenos Aires, Argentina; her job during the trip to chaperone young girls in the group; reading about Kristallnacht during a stop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; living with other Riegner groups in a pension; the importance of protecting the young girls from trafficking; the decision in the house that everyone would keep kosher and that Shabbat would be observed; seeking help from the Asociación Filantrópica; life and organization in the home; looking for jobs and how the girls were in demand as governesses; being in charge of the house’s everyday tasks; her role as the moral support of her housemates in the terrible years when correspondence began arriving of relatives in Europe; seeking a job outside the home as a governess; becoming the secretary of the ACIBA; how the house ceased functioning as a group home around 1940; the ACIBA organizing Spanish classes for the immigrants; the struggle for immigrants to adapt to Argentina because they believed they would return to Germany; how many of the immigrants began joining Jewish organizations; the community created by the immigrant youth; her husband helping a family that was hungry; and her criticism and praise of the Asociación Filantrópica.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Edith Zanders de Silver
interview:  1986 April 02
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, acquired from the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina-Communidad de Buenos Aires
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:40:39
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