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Egon Israelski's Jewish refugee paper.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 97635

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    Egon Israelski's Jewish refugee paper.
    Egon Israelski's Jewish refugee paper.


    Egon Israelski's Jewish refugee paper.
    1940 August 06
    Shanghai, [Kiangsu] China
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Annemarie Warschauer

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Annemarie Warschauer

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Annemarie Alexander is the daughter of Anna Hirschensohn Alexander and Isadore Alexander. She was born on August 3, 1920, in Berlin, Germany. The family lived in an estate with a 32 room house and many animals including horses, geese, and sheep located in Rittergut-Starpel, about two hours away from Berlin. When Hitler came to power, Annemarie was 13 years old. In 1936, a group of Nazis came to the estate when Isadore was home alone. They took him and only two days later, Annemarie and her family learned he had been killed. Annemarie was introduced to Egon Werner Israelski, and the two eventually got engaged. They were married on October 13, 1938 in a synagogue in Berlin. At the time, Annemarie was 18 and Egon was 26. They lived with Annemarie's parents in their large Berlin apartment. On November 9, 1938, about a month after their marriage, the synagogue and Jewish businesses were destroyed during the Kristallnacht pogrom. Soon afterwards, Gestapo blocked the front of their apartment building because a Jew owned the building. Eventually, Annemarie and her family were able to go back inside, but they decided it would be safer to move to a different building. Then, Egon was taken by the Nazis and put into a forced labor camp. Annemarie did not want to separate from her husband, so she went with him. They had their own room in the barracks, and Annemarie was in charge of making meals for the 35 other men in the barracks. Eventually, Egon had to stop working in the forced labor camp because he developed a bad back. The Nazis informed Annemarie that she would now have to work at the Siemens factory. She was released from forced labor after she and Egon applied to emigrate. They let her go as long as she signed a paper saying that she would never reveal what she did there or she could be shot. The family had wanted to go to the United States, but the quotas were filled. So Annemaire and Egon, along with Anna and her new husband Leo Munter, went to Shanghai. To get there, they took the train to Moscow, through Siberia, and then on to Shanghai. Each Jew making the trip was issued 10 marks, which is equal to 10 dollars. They had to leave all of their possessions behind, and Soviet officers stole the little remaining money that she had with her.
    The family eventually made it to Shanghai where Annemarie and Egon had one room, not a whole apartment. Their living conditions were extremely unsanitary. Their bed was tiny and full of bed bugs. There were no toilets, just one bucket to share. Cooking was done on a portable stove heated up with coal that they had to purchase themselves. However the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee provided free food. On May 25, 1946 Annemarie and Egon had a baby boy who they named Gary. A year later in 1947 the three of them were able to leave Shanghai for the United States. Annemarie's parents had to stay in Shanghai because of the quota. They eventually were able to move to Brazil. After a 21 day boat ride, Annemarie, Egon, and Gary arrived in San Francisco. They lived there for 3 months and then moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania where some of Annemarie's cousins lived.
    Egon's parents stayed in Berlin during the war and survived in hiding. After living in Brazil, Anna and Leo moved in with Annemarie and Egon in Allentown. After 35 years of marriage, Egon died at the age of 75. Years later, Annemarie reconnected with Erwin Warschauer who was a dentist both in Berlin and Shanghai. The two got married, and he died only a year later.
    Record last modified:
    2013-02-01 00:00:00
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