Edith Brickell was fifteen years old in 1938 and later wondered why her parents underestimated the threat posed by the Nazis.
“…and when he came home after having spent a night there, his hair had turned as white as snow. ”
“In 1938, my father’s company was immediately Aryanized, and I was no longer allowed to go to school. On 10th November 1938, after Kristallnacht, my father and my brother Gustl were arrested. My father was taken to a school on Kenyongasse, and when he came home after having spent a night there, his hair had turned as white as snow. Gustl was deported to the concentration camp in Dachau (Bavaria). It is hard to grasp today how my father didn’t realize what was going on. Perhaps it was because they sent him home again. I also think that my father was already tired [of moving around]. As a young man he had gone to Japan, then returned to Vienna; maybe he just didn’t want to move and start all over again.
What was happening was certainly alarming, but I don’t think that my parents weren’t aware of the gravity of the situation, the threat of losing their lives. My father once said, and I remember this precisely, ‘I have never done anyone any harm; no one will do me any harm either.’ That was his attitude. As for my mother, I don’t think she would have left Vienna without her mother. But my parents did want my brothers and me to leave. We were to return once things were all right again.”
Photo at the top:
Edith Teller Brickell with her family in Bad Gastein
Photo taken in:
Edith Teller Brickell
Year of the interview:
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