age 89*
Born: 1908
Berlin, Germany
occupation: dressmaker
Who Are We
by Rose Hanauer

I was born in Berlin,Germany, the youngest of three children. I had two older brothers. After graduating from High School I went into dressmaking, learning design, making patterns etc. My father was a pharmacist, he owned a pharmacy in the middle of Berlin. I married pretty young and my father died one year after my marriage.

By that time Hitler had already a lot of power in Germany, the political situation was very bad and the danger that the Communists would take over Germany was great. The Germans figured that Hitler would be the smaller of two evils, so they supported him strongly! Besides Hitler gave jobs to jobless people (of course all in preparation for a war that would conquer the whole world!)

When my father died my older brother, whom I loved dearly, was studying in Vienna, Austria to become a Chemist, but he had to come home to take care of the pharmacy! By that time there were already restrictions for Jews to work so we had to hire a non-Jewish Pharmacist and my brother worked in the pharmacy for a while until that became impossible too!

My husband was a pharmacist too. He worked for another pharmacy in Berlin, but the political situation was already pretty bad!

My husband and I decided to do anything to get out of Germany, but it was already too late to be able to get out, Hitler had taken over Germany and made it nearly impossible for Jews to work or get out alive! My mother-in-law had taken a job as a maid in a private household in London, England. She figured she would be able to get her children out of Germany and she really did succeed. She became very friendly with her employers and they sponsored her and her daughter and us so that we got a permit to go to London!

My brother-at that time-the year was 1938- still thought Hitler would not be in power very long, one should wait!
My husband and I left Germany as soon as we received our permit to get into England! We left Germany Aug. 11, 1939 which was less than three weeks before England declared war against Germany! Of course we had to leave everything of value behind!

We would have loved to apply for my mother to get out of Germany too, but she did not want to leave as long as my brother and his wife and two small children were still in Germany! Well none of them got out, and they were all taken to Concentration Camps and killed by the Nazis. The day before we left for England, my brother said to me, "I guess you were the smarter one, it looks pretty bad now!" But of course by that time, there was hardly a chance to get out anymore, arrangements had to be made way ahead and that took time! We got to England and found that men could not work there-times were bad in England too-but I could do some sewing, we did not need much money for living. Later on I got a job as a designer of better grade underwear. At that time bombing was heavy, the Germans tried very hard to destroy London. We stayed many nights in the London Subway Stations!

My other brother lived in the U.S.A. for many years already. My family was really not in contact with him, but somehow he heard about all the happenings and tried to contact me! He finally did and asked me whether I would like to come to the U.S.A. Even though I liked England, I was eager to settle in America. So soon my brother sent me the necessary papers. In the meantime my marriage did not stand the difficult times and after three years of separation I got a divorce and was ready to begin a new life in a new country!

Two years after living in England I heard through the Red Cross that my mother was picked up by the Nazis sometime after my brother and his family were taken to Concentration Camps. My mother herself had written a few lines with the Red Cross letter. By the time I got this letter they must have been dead already.

I arrived in New York City in 1947 and stayed with my cousin in their apartment. I soon found a job that paid very little, but soon I got a much better one where I stayed many enjoyable years!

After a few months my cousin and I moved into an apartment of an elderly couple where we lived very comfortable!

I joined a hiking club and after a few months I met Walter there and soon we got married and hopefully we shall have many more happy years together!

This is my story! I had good times and bad times and many happy memories and sad ones too!

I became an American citizen 2 years after I arrived in America which was in 1947. I love this country and am proud to be part of it.


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