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Oral history interview with John Ralph Silva

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.174.1 | RG Number: RG-50.808.0001

John Ralph Silva, born June 26, 1921 in Berlin, Germany, describes his childhood; fleeing Berlin on November 10, 1938 after the murder of his father during Kristallnacht; trying to convince his other family members to leave; the fate of his family members during the Holocaust; persuading a boat captain to take him to Genoa, Italy and selling part of his stamp collection; possessing a passport and visa for Bolivia; arriving in Bolivia and being told he and the other Jewish refugees would be sent into the jungle to help colonize it; having his passport taken away; conditions in the jungle and suffering a machete wound; contracting malaria and yellow fever months later; how after two years in the jungle he feigned a toothache and traveled towards La Paz; attempting to flee to Argentina three times; being successfully smuggled into Argentina; going to Montevideo, Uruguay; finding some relatives who offered little help; working for a Frenchman in the wool business; getting married in 1944 to a Jewish refugee from Mannheim, Germany; immigrating to the United States in 1947; building a wool import and export business; becoming the president of the New York Wool Trade Association; and retiring to Atlanta, GA.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
John R. Silva
1 DVD : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sharon T. Silva
Record last modified: 2020-07-14 11:48:36
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