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Oral history interview with Gabriele Derenberg Schiff

Oral History | Accession Number: 2000.373 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0460

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

Gabriele D. Schiff, born in 1914 in Hamburg, Germany, discusses her childhood in an assimilated Jewish household; her encounters with antisemitism; her job as a social worker in a Jewish orphanage; moving to England for school and then returning to Germany; immigrating to England and then to the United States in 1937; graduating from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in English and then earning a degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania; her knowledge of the situation in Germany during the war; working with the American Friends Service Committee to help refugees get affidavits of support to immigrate to the United States; working as a counselor at a refugee vacation camp set up by the Quakers in Nyack, New York; working for a year at a state psychiatric hospital in Maryland and serving as the director of recreation at a camp for conscientious objectors; being classified as an enemy alien during the war but then becoming an American citizen; being asked by the War Relocation Authority to work at the refugee camp in Oswego, New York in 1943; going to Italy with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in 1946; her observations on the suffering of refugees after World War II; the desire of refugees to immigrate to Palestine; leaving Italy in 1948 and working for the Joint in Brazil; returning to Europe and working for the Joint in Germany; suffering injuries in a car accident and recuperating in a hospital in Italy where she met her husband; returning to the United States in 1950, marrying, and starting work; and her experiences working with Holocaust survivors in the United States.

Interviewee
Gabriele Derenberg Schiff
Interviewer
Amy Rubin
Date
2000 July 27  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
4 sound cassettes (60 min.).