Extracts from the Oct 2004 Journal
The Jewish Museum of Berlin is planning for 2006 an exhibition on Jewish emigrants who left Germany between 1933 and 1941. The more than 400,000 German and Austrian Jews who began a new life after an often difficult emigration became immigrants in many countries. We will be focusing on the everyday life of these immigrants in the years following their arrival in a foreign country. We will, of course, be dealing with countries such as Israel, the USA and Argentina, but we are also keenly interested in countries such as India and Kenya.
From which town did your family come and what was your parents' occupation? Did Jewish religion play a role in your family life? Was there an immediate cause that made you decide to leave Germany? Was it difficult to organise the emigration? How did you choose your country of refuge? Did you/your parents prepare for the emigration with special training? Which possessions were you able to take with you? How did your flight and arrival proceed?
Life as a refugee/ immigrant
Where and how did your family live after the arrival? Was your country of refuge as you expected it to be? Which jobs did you/your parents do after the arrival? Were you supported by relief organisations? Did your parents try to help relatives get out of Germany or Austria? What experiences did you have as a refugee or 'enemy alien'?
Everyday life until around 1950
When did your country of immigration become a new 'Heimat' for you? Were there things/habits in your new country which you liked very much (for instance, food, landscape, music)? Were there things/habits from Germany which you missed? Were you more in contact with the local people than with other refugees? Did your family become active in a German-Jewish organisation or a synagogue community? [more...]
Bank commission refunds
As has been mentioned previously in this column, it is now possible to receive a refund of the British bank commissions levied on Holocaust reparations. The British Bankers' Association (BBA) has issued specific guidance notes advising British banks on how to respond to this problem. [more...]