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Oral history interview with Ludwick Simonsohn

Oral History | Accession Number: 2013.294.80 | RG Number: RG-50.693.0080

Luis Simonsohn, born in Magdeburg, Germany on November 29, 1925, describes his family’s factory of ready-made clothes, which was started by his great grandfather, Benno Basch; his family’s financial situation changing in 1929 during the Great Depression and the family’s factory having to be closed; having to share an apartment with his maternal grandparents in 1934; attending a public school; his younger brother, Werner, being sent to a Catholic school to be protected after the advent of Nazism; not being allowed to attend gymnasium because he was Jewish; attending a school that was not conducive to a university career for three years; his father attempting to get visas for he and his brother to England in 1939; having his Bar Mitzvah; witnessing Kristallnacht and the destruction in the city, including his parents’ store; his mother taking he and his brother to England separately; being matriculated in a school in Kent, near Canterbury, and staying there nine months; he and his brother attending a boarding school for children of middle class families owned by Seagram, near Hastings, where they stayed for a year; having normal correspondence with their parents until the war began in earnest; being transferred to a school in Brighton and living in private homes (no longer being subsidized by the Liberal Synagogue but by the government); being evacuated with the other students and transferred 40 km outside London; delivering newspapers to make pocket money; being sent at the age of 14 to work in a farm in the north, isolated from everyone; staying in England until 1944; his parents going to Chile in July 1939 after being turned away from Cuba and interned in Panama; and going to Chile with Werner in November 1944.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Simonsohn, Ludwick
Alster, Zelma
interview:  2010 November 03
Oral histories.
1 digital file : MOV.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Fundación Memoria Viva
Record last modified: 2022-06-16 10:13:25
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