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Oral history interview with Leo Weinrieb

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.338.59 | RG Number: RG-50.037.0059

Leo Weinrieb, born 1917 in Zagorza, Russia (possibly Zagorsk, Russia), describes his parents fleeing illegally to Germany to avoid service in the Red Army; his father working as a coal miner then opening a furniture store; being allowed to stay in Germany legally eventually; feeling threatened in 1933 during the rise of the Nazis; going illegally to the Netherlands; living in Amsterdam and obtaining papers to go to Brazil, where his father worked in a brick factory and he learned manufacturing of leather goods; attending a Catholic school in Germany for four years; having a Jewish upbringing; attending an art school to learn window dressing, but being kicked out because he was a Jew; life in Brazil and going back to Europe after eight months; returning to Holland in 1934; starting a successful factory for leather belts; his factory being confiscated when Hitler invaded in 1940; making plastic rain hoods in his home; young boys being deported to Mauthausen; he and his brother being involved with different groups in the underground movement; possessing documents that led the Germans to believe that he was a Brazilian citizen; hiding a Dutch family in his home; getting married in 1941; the underground helping them to hide on a farm with a couple and their three children; receiving false papers and staying on the farm for two years; listening to the BBC news; the story of how he saved his parents from deportation; his parents being caught later and deported to Bergen-Belsen; finding his parents after the war; his two brothers and his sisters surviving in hiding; adopting a young repatriated boy whose parents were found later; making small wooden shoes to be sold as souvenirs and moving back to Amsterdam; going to New York City in 1948; selling ties from a stand in front of Macy’s; moving to Buffalo, NY; his family in Poland not surviving; working at a paper company then as a money collector; moving San Diego, CA, where he worked for J.C. Penny’s and returning to Buffalo; not telling most of his stories to his children; and the importance of preventing the Holocaust from happening again.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Leo Weinrieb
Mrs. Toby Back
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2020-08-03 11:26:22
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