Oral history interview with Arthur W. Weichsel
Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
- Arthur W. Weichsel
- Dr. Yael Siman
2017 January 23
Mexico City (Mexico)
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Yael Siman on behalf of Nenemi Paxia - Sinergias Educativas A.C.
Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:40:21
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn563201
Also in Oral testimonies of the Voces del Holocausto en México collection
Oral history interviews with Holocaust survivors who settled in México
Perla (Pola in Polish) Ruzansky Jinich, born October 13, 1923 in Bialystok, Poland, discusses immigrating to Mexico with her family in 1928; her father and oldest sister arriving in Mexico one year earlier with the idea of soon moving to the United States; how at the time it was very risky for Jewish women to travel alone; not having memories of Bialystok; the social antisemitism present in Mexico in the 1930s; life in Mexico for new immigrants, including their occupations, housing, cultural activities, synagogue attendance, and social relations with other Jews and non-Jews; the gradual social mobility of Jews in Mexico and the possibilities for integration; her volunteer work in the Jewish organization Naamat; her husband, who lost most of his family in the Holocaust; the arrival of news about events in Europe through the American and Yiddish press; the limited possibilities for migration to Mexico for Jewish refugees escaping Nazism; and how difficult it was for Jewish survivors who did not want to speak, or were not believed by veteran local Jews when they tried to tell their Holocaust experiences.
Bronislaw Zajbert, born April 18, 1933 in Lódz, Poland, describes his childhood in Lódz; being part of a secular Jewish middle-class family; speaking only Polish at home; his father, who worked in a textile factory while his mother had a store of baby clothing; the good relations with non-Jewish neighbors and having no memories of antisemitism until the invasion of Lódz by the Germans; being sent to the Lódz ghetto in 1940 with his parents and younger brother (a baby at that time); working in a factory and surviving with his family in the ghetto until Lódz was liberated in 1945; conditions in the ghetto and the sacrifices his father made to save them; living in Lódz for a few years until they were able to immigrate to Caracas, Venezuela; studying in Venezuela and moving to the United States to attend college; returning to Venezuela for several years; meeting his wife; and resettling in Mexico City in 1960.
Luis (Erwin) Stillmann, born on December 31, 1921 in Budapest, Hungary, discusses growing up in Mád, Hungary, where his family had resided for 300 years; his father’s work in the wine business representing a company in Europe; his family’s Jewish religious life as well as the daily co-existence between Jews and Christians; his father losing his job; moving with his parents to Kiskunfélegyháza where they found an orthodox Jewish community that assisted other Jews in need; facing pervasive antisemitism and anti-Jewish laws in Hungary when he tried to enter university; receiving help from a university dean, Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi, and attending the university in Szeged; avoiding military conscription because he was a student; moving home when the Germans entered Budapest; living in the ghetto for several weeks before being sent to a Jewish battalion; returning to Budapest after spending some time in a military hospital; being sent to the Hungarian-Austrian border to dig trenches for the German army; being sent to Mauthausen and Günskirchen; getting a Portuguese passport with the help of his aunt in Budapest and how it saved his life; being very weak when the war ended and feeling free but also indifferent; staying in Wels, Austria, where he received food and medical assistance from the American army and worked as translator; returning to Budapest and Kiskunfélegyháza looking for his family members and finding out that his parents had perished; deciding to leave Hungary because he did not want to live under Communism; working as an interpreter at the DP camp in Ebensee and with UNRRA in Ansbach, Germany; moving to Paris, France and receiving help from HIAS while waiting for a visa to the United States; going to Mexico in 1947 on a tourist visa and having a difficult time changing his status to immigrant; identifying with the Hungarian-German community in the town where he met his wife, also a Holocaust survivor; and visiting Mád in 1990 and a few years later with his daughters and grandchildren.