World War, 1939-1945--Refugees

= Audio Available Online
Trudy Briner discusses her life in Austria during the 1920s and 1930s until her departure after Kristallnacht, November 1938. There are numerous descriptions of family life, Vienna society after World War I, and a self-portrait. Information relating to the change in political climate from 1933 to 1938 with the rise of Hitler in Germany and its impact on her and her family is detailed. Subsequently, she discusses her circuitous route to America and ultimately to Louisville. Early occupations in Louisvlle and first impressions of America and Louisville are noted. Finally she mentions her feelings upon returning to Vienna for the first time since 1938. Partial transcript available.
Lydia Haas discusses family and town life in Heibrun, Germany during the 1920s and 1930s. The ramifications of her marriage to a Jewish man are noted at length. Her interaction with members of the Nazi party are detailed as well. Her family's reaction to Hitler are mentioned. Early experiences in Lousiville, including an episode in which the FBI are brought forth. A reunion of Heilbrun emigres is also discussed, and her views on neo-Nazis and the folly of the war are enumerated.
Werner Herz details his early childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood in Dusseldorf, Germany. He provides a portrait of his family and a life of culture and the arts. His career aspirations were crushed in 1933, and he notes his turn toward business. He discusses his immigration to the United States with his brothers. One of his brothers was a noted jurist, and the other was Gerhard Herz of the University of Louisville School of Music. His first recollections of America and Louisville are mentioned with much care. An FBI encounter is also noted. He discusses at length his painful return to Germany for a visit and the attitude of the German people to the war. Index available.
Evelyn Maier discusses her childhood and young adulthood in Zurich, Switzerland. A description of middle class family life follows in the 1920s and 1930s and the effect of Hitler's rise to power in Germany. Her school years are elaborated upon and a lengthy discussion of her work in the diamond and precious stones business in Zurich are detailed. Her lack of political awareness despite hints of her parents' astute sense of the historic is discussed. Life in Hamburg, Germany 1972-1973 is mentioned. She relates her impressions of New York City in the late 1940s and her life in Louisville. She also goes on to speak about Swiss social and political conservativeness and problems within the EC and ECC. Index available.
Berta Nielson discusses life in Germany in the post-World War I period and the impact of economic factors upon her life and that of her family. She describes her parents in detail and pays special attention to her father's reputation as a woodcarver. She notes in detail wartime experiences in Germany, the loss of her aviator husband in Russia, confrontations with SS officers and conquering American soldiers. The frustration of her career aspirations as a veterinarian also comes through. She mentions how Germans felt about Hitler and the aftermath of the war. Her experiences in America and particualrly in Fort Knox are discussed in detail. She also relates her feelings upon visiting Dachau after the war. Partial transcript available.
Denise Wolff discusses her original home in Herganeau, Alsace-Lorraine; her education at the Coll├Ęge de Jeunes Filles; World War I; her husband, a reservist in the French Army; flight through Spain and Portugal to the United States following the rise of Nazi Germany; impressions of America; and her refugee work in Louisville.
Jacques (Denise) Wolff recounts a pleasant life in Alsace without prejudice. She was born into a middle class family who moved to western France (near Chartres) prior to the outbreak of World War II. Slowly, the entire family made its way to southern France before emigrating in 1941. She discusses Hitler, World War II, and her hsuband's adventures and brothers-in-law during that time. People in Louisville were open, warm, helpful, but the city was a "cultural desert." She cared for her ailing husband and survived two malignancies. She discusses the medieval origins of her town, Haguenau. She mentions many return visits to France and her only visit to Germany, which was a pleasant one. Index available.