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Oral history interview with Beatrice Muchman

Oral History | Accession Number: 2016.298.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0900

Beatrice (Trixie) Muchman (née Westheimer) was born June 5, 1933 in Berlin, Germany to Meta and Julius Westheimer. She had two nicknames: Trixie and Poopa (doll). She discusses her mother’s large family who lived in Berlin for generations, and her father being an orphan; her mother working for her family’s printing business for artists, and her father working in the meat business; being middle class, living in an apartment, and owning a car; the neighborhood synagogue burning during Kristallnacht; her family, including grandmother Johanna Baruch Boas, aunt Margaret Lewy and her husband Werner Lewy, their son Bernt fleeing Berlin in March 1939 to Brussels, Belgium; staying with her aunt Frieda Hurwitz and her husband Walter and their son Henri; Beatrice’s father and Uncle Walter getting arrested and imprisoned at Gurs; her father escaping in February 1941 and returning to his family; Margaret and Werner receiving visas and immigrating to the United States; her family not being able to obtain visas, partly due to a misspelling of their last name; Beatrice and her cousin Henri going to Ottignies to be hidden by two Catholic sisters; her parents getting arrested, her father getting killed trying to escape, and her mother perishing at Auschwitz; hiding in a shelter in the garden during air raids; getting liberated by the Americans and joining her grandmother in Brussels; immigrating with her grandmother to the United States in May 1946; getting adopted by her Aunt Margaret and her husband; marrying Irwin Muchman (d. 1999), and later marrying Larry Abrams; and finding letters many years later concerning her father’s relatives. She married Irwin who died in 1999 and then she married Larry Abrams. After the interview, Beatrice shows the Rosary given to her by her Godmother and a little bible given to her by her priest at her First Communion and her prayer beads.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Muchman, Ms. Beatrice
Interviewer
Navazelskis, Ina
Date
interview:  2016 September 27
Geography
creation: Chicago (Ill.)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
 
Record last modified: 2022-06-24 20:16:54
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn550881