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Oral history interview with Richard Schifter

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2017.221.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0939

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    Oral history interview with Richard Schifter


    Interview Summary
    Ambassador Richard Schifter (1923-2020) was born on July 31, 1923 in Vienna, Austria to Balbina (née Blass) and Paul Schifter. He discusses accompanying his mother to visit her parents in a small town near Warsaw, Poland; his parents being Polish citizens; his father living in Rochester, NY from 1907-1913 where he worked for a pharmaceutical firm and saved up money to purchase a drugstore in Vienna; his father being forced to sell his drugstore to his Nazi employee after the German annexation of Austria; his parents being arrested; his parents marrying in 1919; attending school in Vienna until it closed; his mother being a Zionist and Social Democrat, and her influence on his interest in politics; making plans to emigrate after annexation; his mother wanting to stay in Vienna to care for her parents; receiving an affidavit with his cousin Joseph’s sponsorship and a visa through the Austrian quota; the Polish quota being full and his parents not receiving visas; taking a train to Rotterdam and a ship to the United States; his parents getting arrested and released on the condition of leaving Austria; his parents fleeing to Poland; his father hiding in Stanisławow; his mother hiding in Warsaw and working for the Jewish Council; living with his Uncle Harry in the Bronx and writing to his parents that he was trying to get them visas; his last letter received from his parents was in September 1942; The Red Cross having no information about the fate of his parents; 17 survivors on his father’s side and 5 on his mother’s; attending high school in the Bronx; graduating high school and attending City Colllege; getting drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943; going to Camp Richie for intelligence training; arriving in Normandy in August 1944 and interviewing prisoners of war in Luxembourg and Belgium; and getting assigned to interview German citizens in Aachen, Germany.
    Ambassador Richard Schifter
    Navazelskis, Ina
    interview:  2017 June 29
    creation: Bethesda (Md.)

    Physical Details

    Oral histories.
    2 digital files : MPEG-4.

    Rights & Restrictions

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    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Ina Navazelskis, on behalf of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Branch, conducted the oral history interview with Ambassador Richard Schifter on June 29, 2017 in Bethesda, MD.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:05:41
    This page:

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