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Oral history interview with Erika Tamar

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.437.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0863

Erika Tamar, born on June 10, 1934 in Vienna, Austria, discusses her parents, who originated in Poland; her father, who was a physician; seeing the broken glass on the streets after Kristallnacht; her fear upon seeing SS at the bakery; her desire to join the Nazi Youth Party when she watched the girls march down the street; her family being forced to fire their Austrian au pair when Hitler came to power; being chosen for the Kindertransport to the United States along with her nine-year-old brother (Henry); her parents’ attempts to prepare their children for the US by giving them English lessons; waving goodbye to their parents from the train that was to take them to a ship; stopping in Berlin along the way; her brother taking care of Erika during their journey as well as when they arrived in the US, stayed in a camp (waiting for foster parents), and took a bus to Texas; spending several months living with foster parents in Texas; the foster parents, who had no children nor training in childcare, which made them appear mean at times; her parents’ arrival in New York in June 1939; taking a train with her brother and reuniting with their parents; residing in an apartment in Queens, NY; not recognizing her mother at first; her father obtaining his medical license and setting up his practice in Washington Heights; attending a conference of the 1,000 children who arrived unaccompanied to the US during WWII; and her career writing teenage novels and picture books (22 books in all).

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ms. Erika Tamar
Ina Navazelskis
interview:  2015 December 18
1 digital file : MPEG-4.