Testimony by

Kurt Brodmann

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.

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Kurt Brodmann with his mother Franziska Brodmann (Vienna 1923)

“…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 had given up her chance to escape to Shanghai and now she could no longer leave.”

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.

Photo taken in:

Tel Aviv-Yaffo

Interviewee:

Kurt Brodmann

Year of the interview:

2002

Interviewer:

Tanja Eckstein

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Learn more about Kurt Brodmann?

Read the full biography of Kurt Brodmann here on the Centropa website.

You can also find many more photos of Kurt Brodmann and his family here in the Centropa photography database.

Teaching Materials

We’ve come up with suggestions on how students can engage in class with the story of Kurt Brodmann.

Under this link here you can find a PDF document with various questions and exercises.

We look forward to feedback on our materials – just write us a message via the contact form!

Author of the educational texts:
Lowell Blackman (Lod, Israel)

Resources

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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