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Oral history interview with Harriet Mehl-Rottenberg

Oral History | Accession Number: 2017.160.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0920

Harriet Mehl-Rottenberg (née Herta Keuhne, 1922-2021) was born in Vienna, Austria on May 19, 1922 as an only child to Adele Pashkas Keuhne (b. 1898) and Oscar Keuhne (b. 1882). Her parents were both born in Lower Austria. Harriet discusses visiting her maternal grandparents who owned a hardware store; enjoying sports as a child; her father owning a factory that produced stockings and socks, and having 50 employees; studying business for two years after gymnasium so she could work at the factory; her parents being reserved; having a maid, Maria, who helped care for Harriet; losing the family apartment and business after the German annexation of Austria; being forced with her mother to scrub the street; the windows of Jewish businesses getting smashed during Kristallnacht; her family, including her mother’s sister and daughter, receiving affidavits for immigration to the United States from the owner of Benrus Watches, someone they didn’t know personally; her grandparents also received affidavits but were deported before they could leave; immigrating to the United States in December 1939 aboard the Italian ship the SS Saturnia; being met in New York by HIAS, who wanted them to go to Pittsburgh, PA, but the family remaining in New York; getting a job because she already spoke English; moving to Washington Heights in Manhattan; her father becoming the manager of the Exeter Hosiery Factory; moving to Elhurst, NY; attending business school; and visiting Vienna in 1968.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ms. Harriet Mehl-Rottenberg
Ina Navazelskis
interview:  2017 February 28
creation: Aventura (Fla.)
Oral histories.
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Record last modified: 2021-12-07 15:23:39
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