We Built Up Our Lives: Education and Community among Jewish by Maxine S. Seller

By Maxine S. Seller

Fearing an impending Nazi invasion, the British govt interned 28,000 women and men of enemy nationality dwelling in Britain within the spring of 1940. so much have been Jewish refugees who, having fled Nazi persecution, have been appalled to discover themselves imprisoned as strength Nazi spies. utilizing oral histories, unpublished letters and memoirs, artifacts and newspapers from the camps, and executive documents, We equipped Up Our Lives tells the compelling tale of sixty-three of those internees. it's a seldom-told a part of the historical past of worldwide struggle II and the Holocaust and a vintage story of human braveness and resilience.

We outfitted Up Our Lives describes the survival mechanisms relied upon through the Jewish refugees. even supposing the internees, imprisoned in Britain, the Isle of guy, Canada, and Australia, have been properly housed and fed and infrequently mistreated, they have been bring to an end from relations, pals, institution, and work--everything that had given aspiring to their lives. Resisting boredom, anger, and depression, the internees made the simplest of a nasty state of affairs via growing schooling, tradition, and group in the camps. prior to and after in addition to in the course of the internment--in Nazi Germany and in Britain--educational assets and social networks have been necessary to the refugees' efforts to accumulate their lives. both vital have been own features of braveness, ingenuity, assertiveness, and resilience.

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Additional info for We Built Up Our Lives: Education and Community among Jewish Refugees Interned by Britain in World War II

Sample text

But I was very lucky. ” Samuel’s rescuer brought some of his clothes from home and 36 • We Built Up Our Lives picked him up in a car. “He never spoke a word. He gave me ten marks and pushed me over the border. ” Samuel was one of three interviewees who spent time in concentration camps. While Heinz Samuel was arrested in the first wave of violence in 1933, Albert Felix and Conrad Samuel (not a relative of Heinz Samuel) were arrested five years later in the wave of random incarcerations that followed Kristallnacht.

Frieda Katz also knew what it was like to be a poor Jew in Vienna, although her father had a “white collar” job. Her father was an elementary school teacher (not a highly paid position), her mother did not work outside the home, and there were six children. Katz told me, with a resigned sigh, that she had always had a hard life. She left school early. ” Like Frieda Katz, Johanna Lichtenstern came from a family that did not fit neatly into the usual social class categories. Her father, a Polish immigrant and small shopkeeper, had difficulty supporting his family in Berlin.

I learned and went through from one department to the other. . I had to take over when the manager was out. . So during that time, I met a very nice boy. . [His] father . . insisted that his son study engineering though he never wanted to. See, the son wanted to become a rabbi—of all things! Anyway, we got very, very friendly. We went to concerts together. We both loved music. . He said to me, “Now listen, you’ve done . . enough of that [apprenticeship]. I will try to get you . .

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