Kurt Brodmann was fifteen years old at the time of the November pogroms. Here he describes his memories of how his mother gave away her ticket to safe Shanghai in order to to take care of his grandfather.
“…he wasn't allowed to do anything as a Jew. ”
“In 1938, my ill grandfather was thrown out of his apartment; he wasn’t allowed to stay at a hotel, he wasn’t allowed to sit on any bench, he wasn’t allowed to do anything as a Jew. He stank because he couldn’t wash himself. My mother had received an exit permit for Shanghai, but she said, ‘I have to give it up. There’s no way I will leave my father behind by himself in his condition.‘ So my mother gave her ticket to her sister, Aunt Anni, and my father and Aunt Anni fled to Shanghai together.
My mother then performed superhuman feats until my grandfather’s death in January 1939. And she even buried him, at the fourth gate of the Central Cemetery. He rests in the same grave as my Uncle Artur, his son.
My mother had given up her chance to escape to Shanghai and now she could no longer leave. She looked like a Christian, and every day she went to the Jewish community and said, ‘My husband is in Shanghai, I have to go and join him.’”
Photo at the top:
Kurt and Erika Brodmann, Leopold and Franziska Brodmann, Harry and Joyce Brodmann and relatives on a visit to Israel.
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