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Oral history interview with Lola Krause

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.88 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0088

Lola Krause, born March 1, 1916 in Vitebsk, Belarus, describes her father, who was a successful movie photographer, and her mother, who was an accomplished pianist from Latvia; growing up as a non-observant Soviet Jew; studying music with her mother; learning German from her governess and attending public school in Vitebsk; being rejected by the local Soviet college because of her father’s upper-class status; moving to Leningrad (Saint Petersburg), Russia to study engineering; working in film and scientific instrument factories; getting married in 1938 and having a son in 1939; the siege of Leningrad; the German bombardment; conditions in the city, including the diseases, lack of food, and loss of all public services; her husband’s death from starvation; her weight dropping to 60 pounds and how, at three years of age, her son weighed only seven-and-a-half pounds; how her factory was relocated to Samarkand (Temirtau), Kazakhstan in 1941 and she traveled with her son in a cattle car for six weeks, stopping in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; meeting up in Tashkent with her uncle, a doctor, who insisted that her fragile child remain with him in the hospital; her son joining her a year-and-a-half later in Samarkand, where she worked until 1946; getting married again and moving illegally across European borders, living in Jewish Agency camps in Wroclaw, Poland and at Wasseralfingen, near Stuttgart, Germany; having another son; surviving on food packages from American relatives; immigrating in 1949 to the United States; their adjustment to life in the US; settling in Bradley Beach, NJ and in Philadelphia, PA; working in factories and establishing their own cleaning business; selling her valuable bracelet to buy a piano; suffering ridicule from poor neighbors because she believed children had to learn to play an instrument; sending her sons to Hebrew school and observing Jewish holidays; and how visiting Israel in 1972 further heightened her Jewish consciousness.

Interviewee
Lola Krause
Date
1981 October 17  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, gift of the Holocaust Oral History Archive of Gratz College
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:58:04
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn508729