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Oral history interview with Egon J. Salmon

Oral History | Accession Number: 2017.215.2 | RG Number: RG-50.977.0002

Egon J. Salmon, born in 1924 in the Rheydt part of Dusseldorf, Germany, discusses his early life in Germany; the beginning of the restrictions for Jews in 1933; his family’s work in the textile business; how Kristallnacht was the deciding factor for their family to leave Germany; events on Kristallnacht, including the arrest of his father and his imprisonment in Dachau; the release of his father four weeks later; his father’s move to the United States, where he was turned away; his father’s move to Cuba; his father applying for entry visas to Cuba for the entire family; sailing on the SS St. Louis; the voyage; arriving in Havana and not being permitted to disembark; the formation of a passenger committee to relocate the passengers in different countries and Captain Schröder tried to help them; returning to Europe until he received a visa in March 1940 and left on April 15, 1940 by ship to the US; arriving in New York, NY and reuniting with his father; adjusting to the US; starting high school and being drafted before graduating; being assigned to the US Army infantry; being shipped to Spartanburg, South Carolina where he was trained for combat; becoming a citizen before he was sent overseas; being sent to North Africa; being sent in 1943 to Naples, Italy, where he remained until 1945; the antisemitism in his unit; the end of the war and being placed in a unit of occupation in Austria for nine months; returning to the US; the fates of his extended family; his feelings that having been aboard the SS St. Louis affected his life; and his belief that he survived due to his father’s actions and good luck.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Mr. Egon J. Salmon
interview:  2013 March
creation: Boca Raton (Fla.)
Documentary films.
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sammy Eppel, Daniel Benaim, and Fernando Duprat