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Oral history interview with Sara Vainhaker

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.29.40 | RG Number: RG-50.590.0040

Sara Josefina Vainhaker (née Meidls?), born on January 1, 1914 in Poland, describes being 9 months old when her family went to Vienna, Austria to reunite with Sara’s grandmother; her father being taken to the army when they stopped in Hungary; her parents’ lumber store in Austria; her parents employing a German Sturmabteilung after Hitler took power; working as a secretary in a Christian-owned office and not being allowed to work because of her employer’s fear; leaving Vienna with her husband in October 1938; planning to go to Bolivia with a visa they had bought in the Bolivian Consulate in Vienna; obtaining transit to Uruguay, where they arrived on November 3; going to Argentina after they were unable to find work for a few months; receiving help from an organization that extended aid to Jewish immigrants from Austria and Germany called HITSEM; obtaining visas for her and her husband’s parents to Argentina with financial assistance from relatives in the United States; the arrival of their parents in Buenos Aires in May 1940; working in a sport shoes factory; living in a Jewish neighborhood; starting a business (called Munieca) making baby clothing, which her father-in-law had done in Vienna (selling the business in 1974 and her husband’s death three years later); the philanthropic organization IKG; her daughter’s birth in 1940; how her daughter’s first language was German and she attended a German-speaking kindergarten; her family shedding their religiosity, but attending synagogue for the holidays; the two Austrian movements in Argentina, the Fobert (which doesn’t exist anymore) and Austria Libre (Free Austria), both of which she did not participate in; the changes Jewish immigrants had on Argentinean culture; and never experiencing antisemitism in Argentina, even during Peron’s time.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Sara Vainhaker
interview:  1990 November
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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