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Oral history interview with Sol Messinger

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.338.69 | RG Number: RG-50.037.0069

Sol Messinger, born in June 1932, discusses growing up Jewish in Berlin, Germany; his father, who was a tailor; his parents’ fear after Hitler started a campaign against Jews; the arrest of his father by the Gestapo in October 1938; his admiration for his mother’s courage in approaching the police station; the deportation of his father to Poland; seeing their synagogue burned; no longer being allowed to attend a Jewish school; his father escaping to Kraków; his family’s reunification on May 13, 1939; boarding the “MS St. Louis” with his family; heading towards Cuba; the two-week voyage; the 700 Jews not being allowed to disembark; the response from the United States; the return of the ship to Europe; disembarking in Belgium; fleeing to France; arriving in France when the Germans were bombing the railroad; nearly suffocating in an air raid shelter; being sent by cattle car transport to southern France; being sent to Agde labor camp; conditions in the camp; escaping with his mother; suffering from frostbite on his toes; reuniting with his father; immigrating to the US; setting in Buffalo, NY; and becoming a medical doctor.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Sol Messinger
Mrs. Toby Back
interview:  1991 January 17
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:35:14
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