1) Planned Escape(s)

The focus of this section are stories of escape from the Nazi-controlled Europe where careful and resourceful planning, as well as great luck, made a new life possible. My grandparents’ planned emigration to the United States in 1941 is one example of this development.

Another story – why? This one has an interesting twenty-year back story in which my grandfather thoughtfully and creatively planned an exit strategy — should one be needed — which shows the role of planning and adaptation. In the literature this story is seldom told, and yet given the numbers of expatriates living in other parts of Europe in the 1930s, it is unlikely that my grandfather was that unusual. My grandfather, Schlioma Gruenberg, began this preparation when he left the Soviet Union in the 1920s by first acquiring the so-called Nansen Passports and later Czech citizenship so that once he, my grandmother, and my mother were living in Berlin they were able cleverly to “hide” their Jewishness from the authorities. It culminated in his ability to gain a visa for himself, his wife, and daughter (my mother) to leave France (via Portugal and Spain) in 1941, when he was 58 years old. See Post #4 for the details.

I would love for others to share their family stories which would add to the growing historical field on survival/escape stories from the era.

See Post #4: Starting Over Again and Again: Schlioma Gruenberg’s Story

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