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Oral history interview with Steffi Schwarcz

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.47 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0047

Steffi Birnbaum Schwarcz, born March 17, 1928 in Berlin, Germany, describes being sent to England on March 15, 1939 as part of the Kindertransport with her younger sister and 11 other children; the group being sponsored by Dr. Schlesinger, an English Jew; her early life, Kristallnacht, and the general atmosphere in Berlin; leaving her parents; the journey to England; the children being put up in a hostel in Shepherds Hill, Highgate (a neighborhood in London); the children being evacuated and dispersed in September 1939; being sent with her sister to the home of a young Christian couple in Cuffley, Middlesex; the respectful attitude of the foster parents; being sent with her sister in January 1940 by the Jewish Refugee Committee to the Kingsley Boarding School in Cornwall, which was run by the Church of England; the pressure to convert put on the Jewish children by the headmistress of the school; a local woman intervening on behalf of Jewish children in the boarding school; how she enabled them to remain Jewish, observe the Jewish holidays in her home, and to get a Jewish education; how the Jewish girls older than 16 were sent to the Isle of Man as enemy aliens; the long-term emotional effects of the Nazi era and the stay in English boarding schools on herself and her sister; and her current life, living in Israel with her husband and daughter.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Schwarcz, Steffie Birnbaum
interview:  1989 June 05
1 sound cassette (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:10:40
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