Countries through which people fled: Belgium

Herbert Blankstein was born in Vienna in 1925 and grew up in the 9th district. In December 1938 he fled with his mother to Brussels. His stepfather was deported to Southern France in 1941 and later to Auschwitz. In Belgium, Blankstein worked in the armaments industry and was protected from deportation due to his knowledge of German. Blankstein married in Brussels and emigrated to Palestine in 1948 together with his mother, wife and son. He worked as a goldsmith. Blankstein lived in Tel Aviv at the time of his interview.
Joan Frome was born in Vienna in 1923 as Johanna Schwarz, where she lived with her family in the 7th district. After the Anschluss, she left high school after being beaten up by a fellow pupil. In September 1939, Frome fled unaccompanied to the USA via Belgium. Her father - a veteran of World War One - died in 1939 as a result of the injuries he sustained during the war, her mother was murdered in Auschwitz. At the time of the interview, Frome was living in New York.
Emanuel Fuchs was born in 1918 in Vienna and lived with his family in the 2nd district, where he went to school and his father owned a bookbinders. After the Anschluss, Fuchs was imprisoned and was brought to the “Notarrest” (temporary jail) in Kenyongasse. He was later sent to Dachau Concentration Camp, where he was imprisoned for several weeks until he returned to Vienna and was forced to leave the country. Fuchs was able to emigrate with a friend to the USA via Germany, Amsterdam and Belgium. After serving in the US Army, Fuchs settled in New York and worked as a jeweler.
Robert Perels was born in Vienna in 1937. In 1939, he and his mother fled from Vienna. They got as far as Marseille. Mother and son were interned in various camps before being deported to Auschwitz by train in 1942. During a layover, his mother threw him out of the train. Perels hid in French woods together with a fourteen-year-old girl until they arrived at a monastery. Perels subsequently lived with a family of farmers before managing to flee to Switzerland in 1944 with the help of a Jewish children’s aid organisation. He was adopted there and lived in Zurich. In 1947, he emigrated to Palestine, where he lived with his aunt. At the time of his interview, Perels lived in Israel.