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Oral history interview with Erica Laufer

Oral History | Accession Number: 2012.210.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0199

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

Erica Laufer, born May 11, 1930 in Klagenfurt, Austria, discusses being the only Jewish child in her school, where she was taught by nuns; her mother denying her Jewish identity but her father being observant; an appearance by Hitler after the Anschluss; being forced to wear the yellow Star of David; being barred from attending school; moving into her grandfather's apartment in Vienna, Austria and living there in secret; SA attacks on Jewish homes; witnessing the events of Kristallnacht while hiding in a doorway; how her father obtained tickets to Trinidad; sailing on the Dutch ship Cotica with other refugees; establishing a life in Port of Spain, Trinidad; being forced, as refuges, to live in a detention center after England entered the war; going to a boarding school to be the companion to the daughter of the director; sailing to New York, NY with her parents in December 1940; moving to Washington, DC where she was discriminated against by other children because of her accent; her academic success; her work for the federal government; getting married and starting a family; not raising her children as Jews following an oath to her mother; the number of relatives she lost in Europe; and her attempts to suppress her feelings about the Holocaust.

Interviewee
Erica Laufer
Interviewer
Gail Schwartz
Date
2012 August 19  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
3 digital files : WAV.