Before the War:
1. Father sought visa to US or Palestine. Uncle stashed money in various
countries. Sister and I were registered in Kindertransport to Holland.
2. Went to Jewish school where teacher eventually gave precious Sforim to be
brought out to US.
a. No one of his family survived.
3. Lived across the street from SS headquarters.
November 9th, 1938 (Kristallnacht):
1.Noticed Aryan neighbors didn't speak to us.
2.Midnight banging on door – Nazis rushed in and broke everything.
a. We had a room with Porcelain and Crystal – totally destroyed, leaving
only piles of shards.
b. We had no shoes on and were made to step over broken glass.
c. Mother pointed out that dad had served in German Army in WWI I.
She asked that my sister and I be allowed to put on shoes. The reply
was the Commander broke her nose (Jewish nose) and yelled "Raus".
d. We fled to friend's house and hid in attic. They came there too and we
went back home. Decided to go to aunt in Cologne. Things were better
there and Pogrom was over for then.
e. Later learned of burning of Sifrei Toras.
f. Much later heard that Dani's great grandfather (on my late
husband's side) who was a kosher butcher in Spangenberg was
arrested for "Selling non-Kosher meat" and killed in jail. They threw
his body on their front lawn.
From November to February:
1. Very little food available, no meat etc.
2. Feverish efforts to get papers complete.
3. Got tickets from Hamburg to NY – only ship available was German ship (SS
Hamburg). This was bad because we would be on German soil and could be
turned around at any time.
4. Nazis took all money except $64, but we were able to ship a lift.
a. We hid lenses in lift.
b. And things we would eventually sell.
5. Adults took English lessons.
6. Mom took sewing machine.
Landing in NY—February, 1939:
1. Uncle rented apartment in NY for the $64 we had.
2. My Birthday present – a plate of salami totally for myself.
3. Home in Sunnyside – 3 families, 6 kids in 2 family house.
a. Toys – ball, chalk, jump rope.
b. Food – bought stale Fink bread, strapped to bike.
c. School – public school and Hebrew school
i. Started in Grade 1 and picked up language in back row of
ii. Helped other refugee kids when they came.
d. Father – Sold Fuller brush, house coats. Worked as shipping clerk.
This was hard for someone who was upper middle class previously.
Shabbos was really hard.
e. Mother – Dressmaker and we sold off stuff from lift.
f. We finally moved to Manhattan – had an "Untermieder" – Border
and life went on.
1. Went to Hunter High.
2. Queens College – Taught Jr. High School Math
3. Married Walter Katz
a. Also German refugee – moved to Washington Heights.
b. His mother came to the US with 2 children.
i. Cleaned stores to care for kids.
ii. Then became baby nurse.
c. Went to Torah Vdaas.
d. Served in Army in Korea.
e. Became CPA, studying at night.
f. Became CEO of Public company.
4. Had 3 children.
a. Dr, Michael Katz- 4 kids, Sharon Mantinband – made Aliyah, 6 kids,
Lisa Goffstein – 3 boys.
Jews in Germany before and during WWII
Hitler comes to power in Germany
Jewish Community of Washington Heights