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Oral history interview with Gerhard Heimann with Lotte Grünfeld Heimann

Oral History | Accession Number: 2016.176.3 | RG Number: RG-50.928.0003

Gerhard "Jerry" Heimann, born on September 29, 1921 in Berlin, Germany, discusses his childhood in Berlin, where he helped his family with their upholstery business; the aftermath of Kristallnacht when his family determined that the 17 year old should flee to Holland; arriving in Nijmegen, Holland, where he was turned away by a Nazi boarder guard; returning to his family in Berlin; the family's good fortune of securing visas to Shanghai, thanks to the efforts of his sister-in-law Lotte Grünfeld Heimann, who had petitioned the Japanese embassy in Berlin; leaving Berlin on September 16, 1940 by train on the Siberian route through Lithuania, Russia, and Manchuria, a month before Germany closed all escape routes for Jews; the family's arrival in the Shanghai Ghetto where they were housed in crowded and unsanitary barracks; experiencing daily bombings; finding work in the French Concession of Shanghai, where he was able to supplement his family's meager rice rations; immigrating to Israel in 1948 following relocation efforts by the Joint Distribution Committee; living in Haifa and helping support his family through plumbing work; moving with his parents in 1953 to Denver, Colorado to join his brother Kurt and sister-in-law Lotte; getting married, working hard, and thriving in the Colorado Rockies; and his feeling that his family's survival was a combination of luck and miracles.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Gerhard Heimann
Lotte Heimann
Giselle Heimann Ratain
interview:  2002 December
2 digital file : MPEG-2.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Giselle Heimann Ratain
Record last modified: 2020-07-22 15:58:42
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