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Oral history interview with Alice Barzilay

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.3.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0218

Alice Schachter Barzilay, born November 3, 1926 in Vienna, Austria, discusses her upper-middle class childhood with her younger sister Ruth; going to public school with non-Jewish friends; ice skating and skiing; observing Jewish holidays; being seated in back of class after the Anschluss in March 1938; feeling in danger on the streets; reading signs on benches; being frightened at the sound of the German soldiers' marching; being expelled from school; going to a Jewish gymnasium in September 1938; how her father’s textile business was taken over; hearing screams on street during Kristallnacht; an Aryan friend warning them to leave by December; how her father and sister left December 31 for Switzerland and then went to England; how she and her mother received affidavits from her father's cousin, which enabled them to leave in March 1939 for London, England; receiving help from the Joint Distribution Committee to go to Cuba on the boat, Orope; going to a suburb where her father imported textiles and paid her private school tuition in fabrics; seeing the St. Louis ship in the harbor; being a part of the large Jewish community from Germany and Italy in Havana; waiting 18 months for United States immigration papers to come through; sailing to Key West and then to New York City and arriving in September 1940; living in Lakewood, NJ and then Washington Heights, NY; finishing high school in two years; graduating Phi Beta Kappa from New York University; marrying in 1955 to a New York Times journalist, Robert Barzilay, and having two children; not joining groups after seeing the mass eruptions in Vienna and marches en masse; how she receives reparations; and her lack of desire to go back to Austria after she made one visit.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ms. Alice Barzilay
Gail Schwartz
interview:  2014 January 23
1 digital file : WAV.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:44:27
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