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Oral history interview with Gerald Schwab

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.999.0328

Gerald Schwab, born on February 19, 1925 in Freiburg, Germany to a conservative Jewish family, discusses his father, who was a businessman with a company based in Germany and a warehouse located in Switzerland, and his mother, who helped his father with the business; the Nazis’ rise to power in January 1933 and his family’s decision to leave Germany; going to Switzerland and then Saint-Louis, France; his family’s move to Lörrach, Germany circa 1935; his family’s desire to leave Germany again in 1938; attending a German school until two days after Kristallnacht; the restrictions placed on Jews; living with a farmer near Zurich, Switzerland from March to December 1939; staying with another family until May 1940 when his parents received the family’s visas; sailing to the United States with his family on the SS Washington; arriving in New York, NY when he was 15 years old; his family’s acquisition of a poultry farm in central New Jersey; attending school; being drafted in 1944 into the US Army; returning to Germany as an American soldier; and achieving the rank of corporal by the time he was discharged. [Note: this summary may not reflect the entirety of the interview; it may also contain additional biographical information that is not discussed in the interview.]

Interviewee
Mr. Gerald Schwab
Date
2011 April 06
Geography
creation : Washington (D.C.)
Language
English