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Edmund Dresner, a Jewish refugee, works in a chemical laboratory after escaping to Switzerland.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 59737

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    Edmund Dresner, a Jewish refugee, works in a chemical laboratory after escaping to Switzerland.
    Edmund Dresner, a Jewish refugee, works in a chemical laboratory after escaping to Switzerland.

    Overview

    Caption
    Edmund Dresner, a Jewish refugee, works in a chemical laboratory after escaping to Switzerland.
    Date
    1942 - 1945
    Locale
    Switzerland
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Marita Pevsner Dresner

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Marita Pevsner Dresner
    Source Record ID: Collections: 2013.534.1

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Biography
    Edmund Dresner was the son of Samson and Regina (Hellman) Dresner. He was born in 1908 in Podwolocisk in Galicia, but his family moved to Zagreb following the Russian Revolution. Edmund had two siblings: Bronia and Julius. In 1930 Edmund graduated from Zagreb University with a degree in chemical engineering. Following the German invasion of Yugoslavia in April, 1941, Edmund fled from Zagreb to the Ljubljana province in the Italian-occupied sector and received a certificate saying he had been born there and therefore was a legal Italian resident. With this he succeeded in moving to Milan where he lived until his escape to Switzerland. While in Italy, he used his chemical knowledge of inks to help manufacture false papers for other refugees like himself. Fearing arrest by the Germans, Edmund fled over the border into Switzerland by skiing through the Alps in the winter of 1942. In Switzerland, he first was interned in a camp in the Ticino region, and then was sent to the resort town of Vevey where hotels were used to house refugees. He was free to move about as long as he reported daily to the police. He then found work as a chemist for a large Swiss chemical concern until the end of the war when he returned to Yugoslavia. He fled again to Italy in 1946 to escape the communist regime. Through his professional contacts he started working as a chemical engineer with various European firms. But he was legally stateless, and as a displaced person applied for visa to America. His application came across Marita's desk. She repeatedly tried to contact him to come for an interview, but since he was always traveling for business, he never showed up. She closed his case and declared him not to be a bona fide refugee. Her decision was reversed in appeal, and he eventually obtained a DP visa to America. By coincidence, Edmund and Marita met a few years later in New York and married soon after. Edmund's sister, Bronia, was deported to Jasenovac with her husband and child. Her husband managed to secure the family's release, but not before Bronia had perished in the camp. Their daughter survived the war in hiding in a convent with false papers. After the war she moved to Israel with her father. Edmund's brother Julius survived the war hiding in Rome, where he later worked as a journalist until his death.
    Record last modified:
    2004-03-30 00:00:00
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/pa1147055

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