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Oral history interview with Jacob Wiener

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.030.0425

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

Jacob Wiener, born in 1917, discusses returning to his home in Bremen, Germany, after Kristallnacht in 1938 when his mother was killed; their plans to immigrate to Canada with the help of a cousin; selling their house to a German to pay for their tickets to Canada; receiving a summons to Berlin, Germany, where he worked with members of a Jewish organization to create false affidavits so that young Jews could immigrate to Latvia; working as a Jewish community liaison to the Gestapo in Bremen; helping to start a school for Jewish children in Bremen in 1939; the Jewish community house in Bremen; the process of leaving Germany in May 1939; his experience on the ship with other refugees, their brief stay in England, and then the journey to Canada; help they received from the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS); finding long-lost relatives in Montreal, Canada; applying for a position in a yeshiva in Baltimore, MD and immigrating to the United States; the ignorance of Canadians and Americans about the situation in Germany and their indifference; his attempts to stay in touch with relatives in Germany and help some of them to immigrate; studying to become a rabbi in Baltimore during World War II; the process of becoming an American citizen; moving to New York after his ordination and marrying; his career as a social worker with the Department of Social Services in New York City; and how his experiences in Nazi Germany affected his life in the United States.

Interviewee
Rabbi Jacob G. Wiener Ph.D.
Interviewer
Randy M. Goldman
Date
1996 February 08  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
3 sound cassettes (60 min.).