Testimony by

Edith Brickell

Edith Brickell was fifteen years old in 1938 and later wondered why her parents underestimated the threat posed by the Nazis.

Edith Teller Brickell in the Rudolfspark in Vienna (1939)

“…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.

“It is hard to grasp today how my father didn't realize what was going on.”

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.”

Original recording of Edith Brickell (Source: Centropa)

Photo at the top:

Edith Teller Brickell with her family in Bad Gastein

Photo taken in:

Österreich (1933)


Edith Teller Brickell

Year of the interview:



Tanja Eckstein


Learn more about Edith Brickell?

You can find the whole biography of Edith Brickell here on the Centropa website (in German only).

You can also find many more photos of Edith Brickell and her family here in the Centropa photography database.


Want to learn more about the November Pogroms?

The reports and films featured on this site are just a glimpse into the multi-faceted history of the November Pogroms in 1938. We’ve put together an extensive directory of resources to help you deepen your knowledge.

The image in the background shows a destroyed shoe store in Vienna on November 10, 1938
(Photo: Wiener Library/DöW F. Nr. 6392)

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