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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

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

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.

Edith Zanders de Silver
1986 April 02  (interview)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, acquired from the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina-Communidad de Buenos Aires
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Record last modified: 2019-01-16 11:47:36
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