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Oral history interview with Margaret Berlin

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.939 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0939

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Beginning in 1931, antisemitic incidences began to occur, and after the ascension to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party, Ms. Berlin was excluded from community activities and in 1937 was forced to leave school. Her parents arranged for her brother to immigrate to the United States in 1938, shortly before Kristallnacht. Ms. Berlin immigrated to Essex, England in 1939 where she was hired as a mother’s helper. Although her parents received visas to leave Germany in 1942, they were unable to pay for their journey to safety. Mr. and Mrs. Wasserman were deported to Auschwitz in 1943.

In England, Ms. Berlin worked as a babysitter for a small boy until 1940 until she, like all foreigners in England, was ordered away from the coast. She moved inland to Leamington, where she worked for two subsequent families as a nanny. Here Ms. Berlin joined an international refugee club, and met her future husband, Herbert Berlin. They married in 1942.

Ms. Berlin continued working as a nurse until 1944, when she became pregnant. Shortly after the birth of her daughter, the family moved to London, where Mr. Berlin started a successful construction firm. In 1951, the family decided to move to the New York area to be closer to remaining family. When housing and working situations turned out to be difficult, the family decided to move west to San Francisco. Ms. Berlin died on December 19, 2008.

Interviewee
Margaret Berlin
Date
1990 August 09  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
1 videocassette (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, acquired from Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:27:41
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn516988