Planning an Escape

Fleeing Arrangements

“She told my grandfather you know you can stay but I’m getting the girls out.”

“Apparently, my grandmother spoke to my grandfather about it and really wanted to leave and, because he didn’t really believe this was happening in his Germany, he refused to leave. And then as I understand it, they were visiting in the summer of ’38 in Berlin, and you know things were clearly getting worse and apparently friends of my grandmother’s had been making arrangements and managing to leave and she told my grandfather you know you can stay but I’m getting the girls out and I’m going to get out. At that point, as I understand it, my grandfather made arrangements to buy a ticket for my mom on an early Kindertransport. She left in early February 1939, and my aunt was away at school and she left in April, and then I believe my grandparents left in the summer, August-September.”

Editor’s Note: As things continued to get increasingly worse for Jews in Nazi occupied Germany, it became more and more clear that Alfred and Johanna needed to get their family out. At first, Alfred did not want to believe that his home country was becoming dangerous to Jews, but Alfred eventually realized the weight of the situation and began to make the arrangements to flee and get his family to safety even before the events of Kristallnacht.