Jewish survivors of the Holocaust
Marchand, Ernest, 1929- (1 of 8) The Living Memory of the Jewish Community
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Refugee from Nazi Europe
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The Living Memory of the Jewish Community
Marchand, Ernest, 1929- (speaker, male)
Coutts, Louise, (speaker, female)
Part 1:Born in Gelsenkirchen, his father died soon after Ernest's birth, his mother was a college, educated; first she was teaching mentally handicapped children and later a working as a secretary. Mother's family came from Falkenburg, in Pomerania, near Stettin (now in Poland). Ernest spent holidays there during his early childhood. Family business of uncle Ernest (he was named after this uncle, remark about names under the Nazis). His parents married in 1928. Mother and her family were not deeply religious. They kept all festivals, went to synagogue on Saturdays and Holy Days and they were ?reasonably kosher', 'a typical German Jewish family.? They were a relatively well-off family. From 1938: Jewish children disappear from school quietly, but it was not known that some went to Holland, France, Britain, USA, in transports, when their parents could not get visas or permits to these places. When he was nine they started trying to get to USA. Fritz Miller (a relative from mother?s side) having emigrated to Britain earlier, and having re-qualified as a doctor, arranges their arrival in Britain.
Interviewee's note: Born in Germany. Observant Jewish family. Father died soon after Ernest was born. Experiences of increasing anti-Semitism; exclusion from cinema, swimming pool, sledging, Kritsallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass 1938). His Family were ignorant of the events as they had no radio or telephone. In 1939, his mother managed to obtain a permit for the family to leave for UK. After several short stays with various families, they found accommodation in a Boys' Hostel in Glasgow, where he met old friends from home. His mother got a job at a hostel. He talks about the school, conditions and a holiday for refugee children near Rothesay. Also talks again about conditions in Germany; Jews having to change their names. Memories of boys' hostel in Glasgow; refugee friends, pocket money, exploring Glasgow and schools. List of holocaust survivors in Christian Institute. The older boys from the hostel were drafted; some were killed or wounded. Some concentration camp survivors arrived in the hostel. Ernest finished school, left the hostel and went to the university to study engineering. Describes poverty, vacation jobs; discovery that many relatives were dead. Misunderstandings between German refugees and local Jewish community. Talks about politics; he is now a non-religious Zionist. How and where he met his wife, relationship with wife and children in view of his background; he is aware of being "peculiar", feels this is common to all "hostellers" - unusual upbringing. Talks about feeling of living on fringe of the community. He got compensation from the German government; his mother's diary, notes, old documents, etc. helped with this. His attitude towards German people now; he can be civil but still he dislikes the language. Discusses views on immigration, bitterness, mother's diary, Red Cross letters and documents. The West Germans were keen to pay compensation; East Germans would consider the claims. Talks about Scotland and a reunion of Kindertransport children.