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Oral history interview with Gert Alexander

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.542.26 | RG Number: RG-50.812.0026

Gert Alexander, born 40 km from Berlin, Germany on March 8, 1927, discusses his life events; the OSE (OEuvre de secours aux enfants) altering his birth year for documents; being on the OSE convoy of children from Berlin to Switzerland, which was the last legal convoy allowed by Nazis; being stopped at Annemasse, France by Italians with 12 other children (each child was carrying a forged and a real identity card); being transferred to Hôtel Pax; how when Italians stopped the convoy, he tore up his French ID card; being turned over to French police; being relocated to a children’s home while the OSE organized departures; being transferred first to Geneva and later to Paris and eventually to Chabannes; (Gert deviates from chronology to explain that he was placed by parents in a children’s home in Berlin 1938); serendipitously securing OSE passage to Paris to a chateau in Quincy-sous-Sénart (30 km south of Paris); the owner of the chateau, Count Hubert Conquere de Monbrison, who had agreed in response to his children’s Jewish doctor and OSE board member to hide refugee children; staying at Quincy-sous-Sénart until September 1940; being transferred to a Quaker children’s home near Porte des Lilas in Paris; being provided with identity papers indicating they were under Quaker protection; being able to venture around Paris and go to school without great risk until the Americans entered the war, at which time they were transferred to Chabannes in 1941; life in Chabannes; learning a leather trade and participating in sports events; education in the chateau; the difficult winter and illness at the chateau; going to school; the absence of fear; the deportation of his parents from Berlin to Theresienstadt and later to Auschwitz where they were murdered; and the photos, letters, and documents confirming his parents’ murder at Auschwitz (Gert shows these materials during the interview).

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Gert Alexander
Lisa Gossels
Dean Wetherell
Documentary films.
3 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lisa Gossels and Dean Wetherell
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:38:07
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