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Oral history interview with Jacob Wiener

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.030.0425

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.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Rabbi Jacob G. Wiener Ph.D.
Interviewer
Randy M. Goldman
Date
interview:  1996 February 08
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
3 sound cassettes (60 min.).