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Oral history interview with Leah Jacob Garrick

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.407 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0407

Leah Jacob Garrick, born on July 9, 1928 in Shanghai, China, describes her grandparents, who had fled Iraq in the late 1800s and settled in Shanghai; her parents, who were both British citizens when they met in China; her early home life and schooling; being raised in a Sephardic orthodox home; attending a British school; her memories of her father building a “succah” (a hut built for the Jewish festival of Sukkot); her vivid memories of celebrating Jewish holidays; the Japanese bombings of Shanghai, beginning when she was nine years old; fleeing to Hong Kong with her mother, grandmother, and two siblings; returning to Shanghai; watching bombs hit the water at the docks of Shanghai; the terrible famine that had struck the Chinese during the war, and her family’s attempts to help as many refugees as they possibly could; her father being permitted to continue his work during the war; her family not being forced to wear armbands because they were still seen as British citizens; her memories of the Pearl Harbor attack; helping her parents care for her siblings; the bombing of her father’s factory multiple times; being constantly afraid of the air raids; having mixed feelings when the Americans began bombing Shanghai; graduating with her sister from a Jewish school in 1944; the occupation of peoples’ homes by Japanese soldiers; being sent with her sister in 1947 to an orthodox school in Crown Heights, New York; her sister getting married and moving to San Francisco, CA; finding a job at a Jewish organization; her parents and brother fleeing the communists in Shanghai in 1949 and going to Hong Kong; her mother and brother moving to the US, while her father built another factory in Macau, China; moving to San Francisco in 1955 and working for Jewish organizations there; her father’s move to California in 1969; visiting her childhood homes in Shanghai in 1987; going to a 1998 reunion in Israel; retiring in 2001; her belief that God had a hand in sending Jews to Shanghai; being proud to be Jewish; and how the events of September 11, 2001 scare her greatly.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Leah J. Garrick
interview:  2001 September 12
1 videocassette (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:51:26
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