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Oral history interview with Gerda Blachmann Wilchfort

Oral History | Accession Number: 1989.A.0325 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0251

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

Gerda Blachmann Wilchfort, born on April 24, 1923 in Wrocław, Poland, describes her family and childhood; experiencing antisemitism and losing friends after Hitler came to power; her memories of the destruction of Kristallnacht; a cousin in Cuba attaining visas for her and her parents to immigrate to Havana, Cuba; booking a passage on the St. Louis and being forced to return to Europe after Cuba and the United States would not accept the ship; arriving in Antwerp, Belgium and signing papers that said they would not work and would accept their status as a refugee; living off a small budget from the United Jewish Appeal; crossing the Belgium border into France by foot but not finding a much better living situation; discovering a castle in the French countryside in which to stay for a few nights; returning to Belgium and moving back into their old apartment building, where they stayed for a couple of years; becoming a seamstress to make some money for her family; joining an underground group with her mother and crossing into France and then Switzerland; finding an apartment building in which to live; discovering that Hitler had died and that the war was coming to an end; and immigrating to the United States to create a new life for herself and her family.

Interviewee
Gerta B. Wilchfort
Interviewer
Linda G. Kuzmack
Date
1989 July 03  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
2 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:11:08
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn504738