Schoen, Kurt, AHC 29

Videos
https://vimeo.com/228955400
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Allgemeines
Schlagwörter für Suche: 
National Council of Jewish Women Gestapohaft Medizinstudent Wien ; Medizinstudium Wien / Universität Antisemitismus ; Universität Zürich ; Medizinstudium Wien / Realgymnasium (Brigittenauer Gymnasium (BRGORG 20))
relevante Bundesländer: 
Wien
Wiener Bezirke : 
20. Bezirk
Person
Geburt: 
Geburtsort (Land, Stadt/Ort): 
Österreich
Wien
Geburtsdatum: 
17. August 1915
Geburtsjahr: 
1915
Flucht-/Emigrationszeitpunkt: 
nach dem ‚Anschluss‘
Vorname: 
Kurt
Nachname: 
Schoen
Geburtsname: 
Kurt Schön
allenamen: 
Kurt Schoen Kurt Schön
allenamen anzeige: 
Kurt Schoen alternative Schreibweisen: zweiter Vorname: Weitere Nachnamen: Geburtsname: Kurt Schön Jüdischer Name:
Geschlecht: 
männlich
Herkunft Mutter: 
Österreich-Ungarn, Böhmen
Herkunft Vater: 
Österreich-Ungarn, Unter der Enns
Biografie: 
Kurt Schoen wurde 1915 in Wien geboren. Er lebte mit seiner Familie im 20. Wiener Gemeindebezirk und studierte an der Universität Wien Medizin. Nach dem ‚Anschluss‘ musste Schoen sein Studium abbrechen. Er floh im September 1938 in die Niederlande, wo ihn die Polizei ins Deutsche Reich zurückschickte. Nach zweiwöchiger Haft gelang es ihm, erneut in die Niederlande zu flüchten und von dort aus in die USA auszureisen. Mit kurzer Unterbrechung in Zürich, wo er sein Medizinstudium wiederaufnahm, lebte Schoen fortan in New York, wo er ein medizinisches Labor betrieb.
Interview
InterviewerIn: 
Martin Horváth
Sitzungsanzahl: 
1
Art des Interviews: 
Audio
Dauer des Interviews: 
03:18:33
Sprache(n) des Interviews: 
Englisch
Datum des Interviews: 
17. Dezember 1996
Transkribiert von: 
Tom Juncker
Ort des Interviews: 
Ort des Interviews (Land,Bundesstaat, Stadt/Ort): 
USANew YorkNew York City
Bestand: 
LBI New York
Bearbeitung des Interviews/Schnitt: 
Tom Juncker
Beruf
Beruf/Beschäftigung: 
Beruf (Pflichtfeld): 
Berufsort (Land, Stadt/Ort): 
Berufsbereich (Pflichtfeld): 
Beruf (Pflichtfeld): 
Berufsort (Land, Stadt/Ort): 
Beruf (Pflichtfeld): 
Berufsort (Land, Stadt/Ort): 
Lebensstationen
Organisationen: 
Organisation: 
Verband sozialistischer Mittelschüler (VSM) - Österreich Österreich
Organisation: 
Verband Sozialistischer Studenten Österreichs (VSStÖ) - Österreich Österreich
Ausbildung: 
Ausbildungstyp: 
höhere Schule
Abschluss Ausbildung: 
abgeschlossen
Ausbildungsstätte: 
Realgymnasium (today: Brigittenauer Gymnasium (BRGORG 20) - high school) Karajangasse 14, 1200 - Österreich, -Wien
von: 
1926
bis: 
1934
Ausbildungstyp: 
Hochschule
Anmerkung Ausbildungsstätte: 
Hat Medizin studiert, musste nach dem Anschluss abrechen.
Ausbildungsstätte: 
University of Vienna - Österreich, -Wien
zur Zeit des ‚Anschlusses‘ besucht: 
ja
von: 
1934
bis: 
1938
Ausbildungstyp: 
Hochschule
Anmerkung Ausbildungsstätte: 
Ca. in den 1950er-Jahren; nicht abgeschlossen.
Ausbildungsstätte: 
University of Zurich Rämistrasse 71, 8006 - Schweiz, -Zürich
relevante Lebensstationen: 
Art der Lebensstation: 
Ausbildungsort
Kindheitsort
Wohnort
Anmerkung: 
Lebte dort mit seinen Eltern, seiner älteren Schwester und seinem jüngeren Bruder.
Land (Lebensstation): 
Österreich
Stadt/Ort (Lebensstation): 
Wien
computed city: 
computed land: 
Art der Lebensstation: 
Arbeitsort
Emigrationsort
Wohnort
Land (Lebensstation): 
USA
Stadt/Ort (Lebensstation): 
New York City
computed city: 
computed land: 
USA
Geocoding Land Lebensstation: 
POINT (-95.712891 37.09024)
Emigrationsort (nur Länderbezeichnung)2: 
USA
Emigrationsort (nur Länderbezeichnung): 
USA
Geocoding Land Lebensstation2: 
POINT (-95.712891 37.09024)
Art der Lebensstation: 
Ausbildungsort
Wohnort
Anmerkung: 
Zum Studium dorthin gegangen.
Land (Lebensstation): 
Schweiz
Stadt/Ort (Lebensstation): 
Zürich
computed city: 
computed land: 
Art der Lebensstation: 
Arbeitsort
Wohnort
Land (Lebensstation): 
USA
Stadt/Ort (Lebensstation): 
New York City
computed city: 
computed land: 
Emigrationsroute
Flucht-/Emigrationsroute: 
Land: 
Deutsches Reich
Stadt/Ort: 
Wien
Flucht/Emigrationsjahr: 
1938
Flucht-/Emigrationsdatum: 
September 8,1938
Anmerkung: 
Mit dem Zug dorthin.
Land: 
Deutsches Reich
Stadt/Ort: 
Köln
Flucht/Emigrationsjahr: 
1938
Flucht-/Emigrationsdatum: 
September 1938
Anmerkung: 
Auf dem Rhein nach Rotterdam.
Land: 
Niederlande
Stadt/Ort: 
Rotterdam
Flucht/Emigrationsjahr: 
1938
Flucht-/Emigrationsdatum: 
September 1938
Anmerkung: 
Von Rotterdam nach Amsterdam gegangen.
Land: 
Niederlande
Stadt/Ort: 
Amsterdam
Flucht/Emigrationsjahr: 
1938
Flucht-/Emigrationsdatum: 
September 1938
Anmerkung: 
Von der niederländischen Polizei zur Grenze zum Deutschen Reich deportiert und dort der Gestapo übergeben. Dort für etwa zwei Wochen in Haft gewesen.
Land: 
Deutsches Reich
Stadt/Ort: 
Anrath
Flucht/Emigrationsjahr: 
1938
Flucht-/Emigrationsdatum: 
1938
Anmerkung: 
Von der Gestapo freigelassen, mussten Schoen und ein ehemaliger Mithäftling sich selbst zur Grenze durchschlagen bzw. sich über diese schmuggeln lassen. In Nijmegen kamen sie bei einer niederländisch-jüdischen Familie unter. Dort erfuhr Schoen, dass er ein Visum für die USA bekommen hatte.
Land: 
Niederlande
Stadt/Ort: 
Nijmegen
Flucht/Emigrationsjahr: 
1938
Flucht-/Emigrationsdatum: 
1938
Anmerkung: 
Schoen ging in den Niederlanden auf ein Schiff Richtung USA.
Land: 
Niederlande
Stadt/Ort: 
Amsterdam
Flucht/Emigrationsjahr: 
1938
Flucht-/Emigrationsdatum: 
October 23, 1938
Anmerkung: 
Ankunft in den USA.
Land: 
USA
Stadt/Ort: 
New York City
Flucht/Emigrationsjahr: 
1938
Flucht-/Emigrationsdatum: 
November 4, 1938
Transkripte
Transkript als PDF hochladen: 
Transkript Text: 

Teil 1

 

 

MH: This is tape number one of an Austrian Heritage Collection interview with Kurt Schoen, conducted by Martin Horváth on December 17th, 1996 in Manhattan. The first part, I would like you to tell me something about your family, about childhood and adolescence, about life in Vienna before 1938. And I would like to start with your grandparents. Can you tell me something about them? Where they came from, what their occupations were? What your relationship with them was?

 

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Transkript spricht über: 
Transkript Textausschnitt

[…] Once I was…I did not have much to do with the university. I was a Medical student. But they had…[Kurt] Schuschnigg had then installed two courses: Vaterländische Kunde, or something like that, that you had to attend. If you were a student you had to attend, I think, for one semester, two hours a week. That was held at the university and you had to take a test on it. And on one of those occasions, when I was at the university…I think that was in [19]35 or [19]36…[19]35 I do not know. The Nazis started a demonstration there, in the university, in the Aula, with a few hundred students, and they started to shout: “Heil Hitler!” And: “Deutschland erwache, Juda verrecke!” And I was caught in that mass of students, and they all walked out of the university to the Ringstraße, and I was just in the midst of them. They raised their arms and shouted. I felt I could have…no, I remember there was, in front of me, a short guy…I had the feeling I should hit him in the head, but I knew better than that. And once we came out to the street, then it just had worn off and went away. But those were the signs, already at this time, that you could see what is coming.

Vimeocode: 
244795928
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Nationalsozialistische Studenten an der Universität Wien vor 1938
Transkript Textausschnitt

MH: Do you have recollections of the days and weeks preceding the Anschluss? Was there any particular tension?

 

KS: Yes. The day before…actually, it was…but the day before, the afternoon…it was on a Friday afternoon. I went to a lecture in pharmacology, and it was supposed to be at two o’clock. We were sitting there in the classroom and the professor did not show up. After about 30 or 40 minutes, his assistant came in and said: “Professor Pick is unable to lecture today…the class is dismissed.” So I knew something is not right. And from there, I went to my fiancée’s house, and on the way…she lived in Lazarettgasse in the 9th district. On the way up there, you could see something strange. I had a strange feeling. Something like before the storm. The clouds before the storm. And then, when I came up to her, and we looked down the window, we saw – it was about five o’clock in the afternoon – from across the street, from a yard, came out a truck – an open truck – and men in SA [Sturmabteilung] uniforms on the truck, with the swastika flag. That was before you heard anything official.

 

 

2/00:05:37

 

 

MH: That was on March 11th, [1938]?

 

KS: That was on March 11th, yes. And then, I think in the evening, he marched into Tirol, where he crossed the border, there. And from then on, it was tough.

 

MH: How did you spend the rest of the day, the evening? Did you listen to Chancellor Schuschnigg’s speech on the radio?

 

KS: Yes.

 

MH: Did you witness Nazi riots in the streets and things like that?

 

KS: As I said, there were demonstrations like…that they came out and…you saw then. In the evening, I then went from my fiancée’s house home. And as I walked over…I went down Spitalgasse, down there. You already saw people shouting and jubilantly praising Hitler. It did not take long. All the…I would not say all, but a lot of those people, the Social Democrats, who before had the blue shirts, they changed over to brown shirts. I did not feel at ease anymore.

 

MH: Can you recall the feelings when you heard that Schuschnigg surrendered, that Hitler would march into Austria?

 

KS: I felt very bad about it, not only because the Nazis came in, but I had the feeling that Schuschnigg really meant what he said. That he really tried to keep Austria as a separate country. But I do not think that he had any chance. If there would have been…in my opinion, if there would have been elections, let us say the week before the Germans marched in, and they would have asked the Austrian people if they want the Anschluss or not. I would say that 65 or 75 percent would have said yes. I had that feeling. I mean, that the actual Volksabstimmung then, on Sunday [March] 13th…that of course was a farce, because an election where you get 99,6 percent of the votes, that is ridiculous. But I think that the majority of the Austrian people wanted it. I mean, as a kid, I was actually…Austrians, more or less, always felt that Austria is too small a country to be alone. That they should be attached to Germany. Even after the First World War, when they came out with the national anthem in Austria. They did not speak of…also, they spoke of Deutsch-Österreich. So there always was a strong movement toward emancipation of Austria by Germany.

 

 

2/00:09:53

 

 

MH: Do you have any recollections of Hitler’s arrival to Vienna? Of his speech at the Heldenplatz? Did you see any of--

 

KS: --I did not see any of it. I stayed away from it. I only saw it and heard it on the radio, and in the papers…the pictures. But I did not see anything.

 

MH: But did you see hundreds of thousands of people in the streets cheering and--

 

KS: --I did not see that. No, I did not. I mean, I did not go there. I had no reason to cheer him.

 

MH: What was the impact of the Anschluss on your personal situation, and your family’s situation?

 

KS: I had worked, at that time, in the hospital in Vienna… in the medical unit. And when I came there on Monday, [March] 14th, I was told that I was dismissed because I am Jewish. So I did not even put on my white coat there anymore. And my father’s business was out. He could not do it anymore. He tried for a few weeks, but nothing diligent. My brother stayed on for about six weeks, and then he was dismissed. But they gave him a very, very nice letter, when he left. They praised him to high heaven, and in fact, after the war, when he went back to Vienna, and he went to the company there, they received him with open arms. And his boss there, he was…he always wrote to him after the war. They always communicated per mail, until he passed away then.

 

MH: That was Kastner & Öhler?

 

KS: Yes, in…I think Schottengasse, it was.

 

MH: What happened to your apartment? Could you stay, or were you forced out? Was it looted?

 

KS: I left in September, and my parents and my sister and brother were still there. My brother then left a few weeks after. And then my sister, we brought over then in…and me in [19]39. And then…about a week or a month later, somebody asked for the apartment, and my parents just had to give it up. They moved then…they then took a room in an apartment. My sister’s friend, they had a large apartment in the 8th district, and my parents rented a room there. And moved in there and stayed there until they left. But with apartments…if somebody said they are a party member, they could choose any apartment where Jews live, and just say: “Get out!” And that was all.

Vimeocode: 
244797070
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‚Anschluss' 1938
Transkript Textausschnitt

[…] but I tried to finish my term. I was in the eighth term, that was in March, so the term had started, I think, in February. And I went a few times to the lecture, but as I said, it was very…the surroundings were too bad. But then they came out with a law, that they will allow two percent of the Jewish students to finish the year…no, that they can continue their studies, not just finish the year. That they continue their studies. And they selected two students, whose fathers who had fought in the First World War and were on the front and had decorations. So my father had that. He had a few medals and was there. So they accepted me in that two-percent-group. But it was no sense. I did not profit from it for anything in my studies. Because we came to…you were, twice during your studies, for one week in obstetrics. It was up in Lazarettgasse, Gebärklinik. And you were there in a room, at night let us say, after the day studies, and they rang the bell…births. So everybody ran down. But as a Jew I was not permitted to assist in births, because I could not touch a non-Jewish woman.

 

 

2/00:31:25 [Übergang/Schnitt.]

 

 

I then did whatever I could to finish the term. I went to the lectures, and then in the end of the term you had to go to the professor to get his signature that you attended the course. So I got that and they gave me credit for the eighth term. I suppose if I would have wanted to stay, I could have even enlisted the next term, but of course it was impossible. You had to run, not stay.

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244797348
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Numerus clausus für Jüdinnen und Juden an der Universität Wien nach dem ‚Anschluss’
Transkript Textausschnitt

MH: On September 8th you left for Holland. How did you get the visa for Holland?

 

KS: My father-in-law somehow went to the Jewish Kultusgemeinde in Vienna, and they had arranged for a trip to the Dutch crowning facilities, for the Dutch queen…for her crowning. So my father-in-law had to pay for that, I am sure, I do not know exactly how much it was. But we went. It was in a group of 40 people from Vienna, and from the Burgenland…Jewish people.

 

 

2/00:35:03

 

 

From our group…from our family, there was my fiancée…she already had her visa for America and she already had the ticket for the ship too…not the date, but just for the ticket in Vienna…and then her parents, and her brother who was then sixteen, her grandfather, her aunt, and her aunt’s ten-year-old boy. We were in that group of 40. And we first went by train to Köln, and from there we then took a Rhine cruiser to Rotterdam. And when we got off the boat there, the Dutch police took our passports away, and said that the visa was for one week. When we go back, we will get the passports back. But they knew already, that it was not our intention to attend the crowning facilities. They knew we wanted to stay. So they kept a tight watch on us. I went with my then future father-in-law to Amsterdam, to some Jewish groups, and tried to arrange that we could stay until we get our Visum for the States. But it was of no avail. And then after seven days, they rounded us all up, put us on a bus, and took us to the German border, somewhere near Arnheim, and turned us over to the Gestapo there. And they put us on another bus, and they put us into a school gymnasium for the night. We slept there on the floor. And the next morning, they took us all to Anrath, bei Krefeld, to a prison. It was a prison where they kept criminals. And the warden there was a very decent nice man. He did not know what to do with us. They marked in our records there that our crime is Jude. So they put us there into single cells. You could not do anything. You did not have any reading material. It was a small cell. You could just walk up and down and count your steps. You were not permitted to open the bed – it was just a folding cut there – until the night. So it was miserable. All you had as reading material was the regulations of the prison that was handed down there.

 

Then…I was there for about two weeks, and then I was called to…somebody then took me to a room with a Gestapo man sitting there in the corner. With a table there in the corner. And as I walked over, he said: “Six feet back, six steps back.” I was too close. And then he said that they will take me to the Dutch border, and I should then go to Holland. And I said: “Without my passport, I am not permitted to re-enter Holland.” And he said: “That is your problem.” About an hour later I collected my…I had a little briefcase. The luggage, they had already sent back to Vienna. All of our luggage. Except my fiancée. They took…when they put us on the bus to send back to Germany, a policeman took my fiancée and took her aboard a ship there, the New Amsterdam…every Friday, the New Amsterdam left, every three weeks. And they put her there aboard of the ship. They gave her a suitcase that had her maiden name Terna on it. But they did not look at her first name, so when she came to the States, she had all the belongings of her mother in the suitcase, none of hers.

 

 

2/00:40:38

 

 

So then, after about an hour, they called and…no, he asked me, that Gestapo man asked me if I had somebody I know that I would like to go with. So I said: “My future brother-in-law.” My fiancée’s brother. So he said: “He is only sixteen. We do not break up families.” And so then, they assigned me another fellow who was about my age. He was from Vienna. And another Gestapo man then took us into a car. He drove for about an hour, hour and half maybe, and then all of a sudden he stopped. During the trip, nothing was said, not a word was spoken. He stopped the car and said…there was a little wooden bridge there. He said: “Run across here, there is a restaurant on the other side.” I think he said it was owned by a Jew. And that is all. So we got out of the car, and ran over there. I was sure that he would shoot us in the back as soon as we turned our backs. But we ran across, and there was a little deserted restaurant there. Nobody there but the owner, I guess. And we then told him what happened and that we would like to get into Holland. If he could help us. That was the time after the Munich Conference and after Hitler’s agreement with Czechoslovakia. So the whole atmosphere was already very much war-like. The Dutch did not feel at ease, they had the border…they had the Dutch army all along the border, to prevent anything from happening, if they could. And so that man said it will be very hard to get into Holland, but he knows some people who will take us during the night…across. But it will cost a lot of money. So we had only ten marks each. We told him that, and he said: “No, they would not do that.” So I then offered…I had a golden Schaffhausen watch, and I had a golden Signet ring. So I offered that, and the other fellow said he would give his watch and ring too. So he said he will let us know if they would accept it.

 

Then a few hours passed, we were just sitting around there, and then came two men…tall, husky looking men, father and son…they came by car. They were antique dealers, and they went to those forlorn places to see if they could pick up antiques. And when I saw them, somehow I felt this draw. And I approached them, and told them our situation, and told them that we were told they would pick us up and take us to Holland. And he said: “Do not dare to do that.” He said he had heard horror stories what those people do. He said: “You come with us.”

 

 

2/00:45:01

 

 

And he took us into the car, and he said we have to be careful how to get into Holland, because the bridges are watched by the military. But he said: “We will follow a smuggler column.” They smuggled cigarettes into Holland. So they had a motorcycle in the front, and the motorcycle was quite a distance away from the trucks that carried the cigarettes. And he said that if the motorcycle turns around, the trucks would not continue. But it went smooth. The trucks went…and so we followed the trucks. And we got into Holland, and he took us in his home. That was in Nijmegen, it was about ten, fifteen miles from the…west of the German border. And they were Dutch-born Jews, both of them. And the…when we came to the house, there was his wife there. She was German-Jewish. And it was a Friday night. I remember, she lit the candles and she blessed us there. And they offered us a room each in their house. They did not know us, but they offered us a room each in the house, and they fed us. And they said we can stay here until we have…I said until I get a Visum to the States, and the other fellow said that he wants to go into Belgium. And he only asked us…when we write to our families, not to write a sender. Just write Zadik, their name, but not our name. But somehow, that other fellow, he wrote a letter and he must have put his name on, because after about ten days, there…one evening, only Mrs. Zadik was there, and the two of us…we did not leave the house. A policeman showed up, and asked for Mr. Stierbel, the other fellow. So we said there is nobody here with that name. They were very well known in the community there. It was a smaller town. So he believed her and he left. And then when Mr. Zadik came back the next day, and she told him, he said that he is sure that they will watch the house now. He said he feels we would be better off for a few days somewhere else. Until the heat is over. And the young fellow, he took us from the yard, over a few roofs to another street…back street there, and we went to the house of the Rabbi, and we stayed there for two days. And from there we went to another Jewish family for another day, and then we went back to the Zadiks. And he said that he would see…he was a little angry, I think, at that fellow, that he had written his name. He said he would see to it that he gets a Visum, legal Visum to Belgium, and he will take him there. And then he got a Visum, and he took him by car to the Belgian border, until he saw that he was safely in Belgium. The fellow survived. I met him then in New York after a few years, by coincidence. And in the meantime, I had gotten the Visum for the States in Vienna. The American consulate in Vienna had sent me a letter to Vienna that I can pick up the Visum…that I had to come to the medical examination first.

 

 

2/00:50:18

 

 

MH: In Vienna?

 

KS: In Vienna. So my parents then sent me that letter, and it so happened that my brother came…he had gotten, in the meantime, his Visum. And he then left Vienna, and on the train to Rotterdam, he had met an American couple. And he had told them about my situation. That he does not know how I will get my visa now. So they went with him to the American consulate in Rotterdam, and explained to them, that I am hidden here. And I do not have an official address here, but my Visum is ready, to come to the States. So he said they will make an exception, and I should come for the medical examination. [Lärm im Hintergrund.] So I went to…I had to go from Nijmegen to Rotterdam. And I did not know the language. So Mr. Zadik said he thinks it is best if I take an early morning bus, where the workers commute to Rotterdam. I should take a newspaper, cover my face, and just pretend I am reading, so people would not be inclined to strike up a conversation with me. And it worked very well. I got there to Rotterdam, I went to the consulate and then went back in the evening on the train. And they said they will let me know when I get the Visum. Then about a week later, I got the notification that the Visum was ready. That was, I think, on a Thursday on…yes, on a Thursday I got that. In the meantime, I had written to my mother’s sister, who lived in Zurich, in Switzerland, and I had asked her if she could advance me the money for the fare, for the ship’s ticket. And she telegraphed me the money, and when I got my Visum, Mr. Zadik went to the shipping line…to the Holland-American line, and got me the ticket. And then the next day, on Friday, the ship left and he then took me to the ship. Can we interrupt for a minute?

 

MH: Sure.

 

 

[Übergang/Schnitt.]

 

 

KS: We then went…I think it was the 27th of October [1938]…we went to the ship. He went with me, and I presented the ticket and the passport there, and when they saw my passport, they said: “Step in there.” They asked me to step aside, and then a detective showed up and he took me and Mr. Zadik in a room there, and he said…that stamp in the passport said that I came illegally to Holland. When I came here, and where I was while I spent time here. So I told him about how I got into Holland. That this Gestapo man took me there to the border. Then I said I stayed one night here, one night there, I do not know where it was. He got increasingly angrier when I always said: “I do not know.” So he said: “But you must know where you were the last two days.” And at that point I had seen already that Mr. Zadik was very restless. You know he kept him there to translate more or less, because his German was not very good. So Mr. Zadik said: “He was in my house the last two nights. And I must say I am proud to help him.” So that detective said: “You know that this is against the law?” So Mr. Zadik said to him: “I would do it anytime, if I can help a human being.” And that he feels that he did not commit any violation of the law, that he did a decent thing. So that detective said to him: “From a human point of view, I can understand you and your action. But I have to represent the law, and you did something that is against the law.” So I understand he was fined then…money…a fine, he got.

 

 

2/00:56:40

 

 

But then he let me go on the ship, and I came here on the 4th of November. […] 

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244799500
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Flucht in die USA
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[…] So we decided then, I will try to finish my studies, my medical studies.

 

 

3/00:06:33

 

 

And I then applied to several – I think five or six – universities, medical school. To finish, I would need one more year here. I had already…before I had gone to Albany to get credit for the studies, and I had taken up…in New York, at City College, I took American history courses and English courses to get credit for the studies in Vienna. They gave me a lot of credit for the courses, for the university courses, I had in Vienna. So they said I need one year to finish, but no university…no medical school would take you in for the fourth year. It was impossible. All wished me luck, but that was all. So then I decided to…Vienna said they would give me full credit, and I could finish my studies there, but I did not want to go back to Vienna. So I then went to Zürich, and they also gave me credit for the four years and said I had to take one more year. So we packed up then. I had a little money. We rented out our apartment here, and the four of us – my wife, my two boys, and I – we went to Zürich. I rented an apartment there, and I then enrolled in medical school there. It was tough, after so many years being away from it. It was twelve years since I had taken the last course. But that would have worked. It was very expensive, living there. Very expensive, money ran out very fast. And then, just before the year was over, an American commission came there. There were a few of us…American students who were there at the university, and we stuck together. They said we do not…we cannot only take the examination for foreigners, they would not recognize it in the States. We have to take the full domestic course…the credits there. And that would have taken another year and a half. I could not see myself getting that heavily in debt, so we then packed up and went back. […] 

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Versuche das Medizinstudium nach 1945 abzuschließen
Transkript Textausschnitt

MH: You said before you considered yourself an American. There is no actual translation for the word Heimat, but would you say that New York, or America, is your Heimat?

 

KS: Yes. I would not consider Vienna or Austria to be my Heimat. It used to be, but no more. Now, if I go there, I do not go to see the Heimat, I go there as a tourist, to see the land. But not that I feel that it is my Heimat.

 

MH: Have the experiences of expulsion and exile changed your attitude towards your Jewish identity?

 

KS: I would think it has increased my identity. I almost have the feeling that…if I would not have been a Jew in Austria, it would have been too easy living…something of that kind. It would not have been interesting enough. But I must say that…even if I do not do it more…but for instance, I like to…when we are home on a Friday night. We have the radio on, on WQXI. You have at 5:30 the services from Temple Emmanuel, the Friday night services. I like to listen to it. I like to…attend to. We went then after…on a Saturday morning to Temple Emmanuel for services. So in that respect, I must say, I am a better Jew now. And thank God, I can afford to be more charitable now. [Klopft.] So I do now give more money for Jewish interests. Even so, Paula thinks I give too much, but I always say to myself: When I was running there, I would have loved to see somebody help me. To have an organization that had enough money to help. So I want to help others if I can.

 

 

3/01:11:26

 

 

MH: Would you call yourself religious now?

 

KS: No, I do not call myself religious, because I am not really religious enough to take the title. But I am a traditional Jew. I know that I am Jewish, I know that I belong to the Jewish race, and I want to stick with it.

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Identität
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MH: Is there any kind of message that you would like to leave, to give to Americans, to Austrians, to younger generations?

 

KS: Be tolerant. We all come from the same source. We are so-called human beings, and I think we should treat each other as human beings. That goes not only religion-wise, but race-wise and whatever differences there are. I think we should overcome it and become a real human race.

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Persönliche Botschaft
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Schoen (Mitte) mit seiner Mutter Marie, seinem Vater Arnold und seinen Geschwistern Gertrud und Fritz, Wien ca. 1920.
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Konversionsschein von Schoens Mutter Marie (geb. Jaklin), Wien 1923.
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Schoen, Wien ca. 1926.
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Maturafoto von Schoen (2. Reihe, 2. v. l.), Brigittenauer Gymnasium, Wien 1934.
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Schoen (1. v. l.) als Medizinstudent, Wien 1937.
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Verlobungsfoto von Schoen und seiner Frau Erika (geb. Terna), Wien 1938.
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Schoens Eltern Marie und Arnold, USA 1949.
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Schoen mit seiner Frau und seinen Kindern, USA ca. 1950.
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Schoen (r.) und seine Familie bei der Bar Mizwa seines Sohnes Herbert, New York City 1957.
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Schoen (2. v. r.) mit seiner Frau Erika und seiner Mutter Marie bei der Graduiertenfeier seiner Söhne Robert (1. v. l.) und Herbert (1. v. r.), USA 1965.
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Schoen und seine Frau Erika, USA 1970.
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Schoen, USA 2014.
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Pädagogik Anmerkungen: 
Empfehle ich besonders deswegen, weil Schön zur Zeit des 'Anschlusses' schon Anfang 20 war, an der Uni Wien studierte und dann sein Studium abbrechen musste. Da ihn dieser Umstand ein Leben lang begleitet hat bzw. bis ins Interview hinein erkennbar ist, wie schmerzhaft es für ihn ist, dass er nicht Medizinier werden konnte, scheint mir für pädagogische Zwecke geeignet als Zugang zum Thema. Außerdem ist bei ihm die Flucht alles andere als einfach verlaufen (wurde von Holland zurück nach Deutschland gebracht, war dort in Haft und flüchtete dann wieder nach Holland), was mE auch einen gut verwendbaren Erzählstrang in diesem Intererview darstellt.
Empfehlung für Pädagogik: 
ja
Glossarvorschläge: 
Jom Kippur, Rosch ha-Schana, Bar Mitzwa, orthodox/orthodoxes Judentum, Schattendorfer Urteil, Wiener Justizpalastbrand, Schutzbund, 'Anschluss', 'Reichskristallnacht', Gestapo, National Council of Jewish Women, Amerikadeutscher Bund, Aufbau (Zeitung), Civil Rights Movement, McCarthy-Ära, Zionismus, Laubhüttenfest/Sukkot