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Oral history interview with Flora Mendelowitz Singer

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.030.0356

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

Flora Mendelovicz Singer, born August 16, 1930 in Berchem, Belgium, describes growing up with three sisters; her father's decision to immigrate to the United States in 1938 but not moving with her father because of immigration quotas; going to a state-sponsored summer camp by the sea in 1940; the German invasion of Belgium while she was at the camp; returning to Antwerp, Belgium and then taking off for the French border with her mother and sister; arriving in Calais, France, where they attempted to board a Red Cross ship but were turned away; continuing to Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France, where their journey was halted by the German advance; walking and hitch-hiking back to Antwerp when the Germans issued a decree for all non-French residents to return to their country of origin in June 1940; wearing the yellow star and not being permitted to go to many public locations; fleeing to Brussels, Belgium, where her mother changed the family's name to "Fiers" and had them enroll in a public school; her principal's discovery of their Jewish identity and helping them go into hiding; moving to a convent in Doel, Belgium, where they were hidden by nuns for two months; returning to Brussels when the nuns decided that it was too dangerous to keep them; going to an orphanage in Etterbeek to hide; finding out after the war that Father Bruno Reynders was responsible for hiding her and her sisters, as well as 400 other children; moving to the Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Convent in Werselater in the summer of 1943; reuniting with her mother in May 1944 at the convent; returning to Brussels when Belgium was liberated in October 1944; enrolling in secretarial school after the war; receiving word in December 1945 that her father had served in the US Army and was located in New York; and her immigration to the US on May 29, 1946.

Interviewee
Ms. Flora Singer
Interviewer
Randy M. Goldman
Date
1995 December 12  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
4 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..