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Reich Refugees during Holocaust 1933-1945

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  • Hermann Reinheimer (1878 - d.)
    Geburt: Stub entry in MtL: Emigrated to Brasil 1941: Searched Ancestry, Jewishgen foir death record: not found.
  • Dr. med Arpád Berczeller (1904 - 1959)
    Dr. med Arpád BERCZELLER: b. 1 April 1904, Ödenburg - d. 28 Nov 1959, Bemis Information courtesy of various sources, including the following: Basic birth data: Name Berczeller Árpád Geschlecht Fé...
  • Adolf Adolph Berczeller (1877 - 1966)
    Adolf Adolph BERCZELLER: b.20 Jan 1877, Gacs ...? - d. 24 Jan 1966, USA Information courtesy of various sources, including the following: cf. information on son Richard. Basic marriage data: Nam...
  • Sidonia Czezilia Berczeller (1870 - d.)
    Sidonia Sidonie etc. Cecilie BERCZELLER, née KOHN: b. 3 Sept 1870, Sopron - d. 30 April 1944, New York Information courtesy of various sources, including the following: cf. information on son Richard...
  • Leo Rheinheimer (1898 - 1994)
    Reference: Ancestry Genealogy - SmartCopy : Jun 11 2024, 0:04:05 UTC For information on Leo's wife, see this profile: Hedwig G. Rheinheimer Heirat_1922:

The idea of this project is to include "all" refugees from the Holocaust who managed to emigrate from Europe to safe countries, and to connect these immigrants to their families in Europe.

Holocaust & Reich Refugees & Emigrés 1933-1945

List of Project Profiles

Nazi Regime GenocideTimeline , Interactive Timeline

The German Nazi persecution started with the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in 1933, reached a first climax during the Kristallnacht in 1938 and culminated in the Holocaust of the European Jewry. It is difficult to arrive at an exact figure for the number of Jews who were able to escape from Europe prior to World War II, since the available statistics are incomplete; additionally, some are calculated on point of departure and some on point of arrival.


From 1933-1939, 355,278 German and Austrian Jews left their homes. (Some emigrated to countries later overrun by the Nazis.)

During the years 1938-1939, approximately 35,000 Jews emigrated from Bohemia and Moravia (Czechoslovakia).


From 1933-1939, 80,860 Polish Jews immigrated to Palestine.

From 1933-1939, 51,747 European Jews arrived in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.

Shanghai, the only place in the world for which one did not need an entry visa, received approximately 20,000 European Jews (mostly of German origin) who had fled their homelands.

The Evian Conference

The United States and Great Britain convened a conference in 1938 at Evian, France, seeking a solution to the refugee problem. With the exception of the Dominican Republic, the nations assembled refused to change their stringent immigration regulations, which were instrumental in preventing large-scale immigration.

In 1939, the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, which had been established at the Evian Conference, initiated negotiations with leading German officials in an attempt to arrange for the relocation of a significant portion of German Jewry. However, these talks failed. Efforts were made for the illegal entry of Jewish immigrants to Palestine as early as July 1934, but were later halted until July 1938. Attempts were also made, with some success, to facilitate the illegal entry of refugees to various countries in Latin America.

Refugees and Emigration

The key reason for the relatively low number of refugees leaving Europe prior to World War II was the stringent immigration policies adopted by the prospective host countries. In the United States, for example, the number of immigrants was limited to 153,744 per year, divided by country of origin. Moreover, the entry requirements were so stringent that available quotas were often not filled. Schemes to facilitate immigration outside the quotas never materialized as the majority of the American public consistently opposed the entry of additional refugees.

Other countries, particularly those in Latin America, adopted immigration policies that were similar or even more restrictive, thus closing the doors to prospective immigrants from the Third Reich.

Great Britain, while somewhat more liberal than the United States on the entry of immigrants, took measures to severely limit Jewish immigration to Palestine. In May 1939, the British issued a "White Paper" stipulating that only 75,000 Jewish immigrants would be allowed to enter Palestine over the course of the next five years (10,000 a year, plus an additional 25,000). This decision prevented hundreds of thousands of Jews from escaping Europe.

The countries most able to accept large numbers of refugees consistently refused to open their gates. Two important factors should be noted. During the period prior to the outbreak of World War II, the Germans were in favor of Jewish emigration. At that time, there were no operative plans to kill the Jews. The goal was to induce them to leave, if necessary, by the use of force. It is also important to recognize the attitude of German Jewry. While many German Jews were initially reluctant to emigrate, the majority sought to do so following Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass), November 9-10, 1938. Had havens been available, more people would certainly have emigrated. Source

The Hitler exiles make a glittering honour roll: Adorno, Bartok, Brecht, Busch, Einstein, Freud, Gödel, Gropius, Gombrich, Hayek, Kleiber, Mann, Perutz, Popper,Schoenberg, Schwitters, Walter...the list could go on. Less often dwelt on perhaps than the remarkable individual stories of these men is their collective impact on the countries they went to. Source

Nazi Book Burnings

The works of some Jewish authors, intellectuals and works deemed to not to correspond with Nazi ideology were publicly burned resulting in a mass exodus of intellectuals, artists and scientists.

The burning of the books represents a culmination of the persecution of those authors whose verbal or written opinions were opposed to Nazi ideology. Many artists, writers and scientists were banned from working and publication. Their works could no longer be found in libraries or in the curricula of schools or universities. Some of them were driven to exile (like Walter Mehring and Arnold Zweig); others were deprived of their citizenship (for example Ernst Toller and Kurt Tucholsky) or forced into a self-imposed exile from society (e.g. Erich Kästner).

For other writers the Nazi persecutions ended in death. Some of them died in concentration camps, due to the consequences of the conditions of imprisonment, or were executed (like Carl von Ossietzky, Erich Mühsam, Gertrud Kolmar, Jakob van Hoddis, Paul Kornfeld, Arno Nadel and Georg Hermann, Theodor Wolff, Adam Kuckhoff, Rudolf Hilferding). Exiled authors despaired and committed suicide, for example: Walter Hasenclever, Ernst Weiss, Carl Einstein, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Toller, and Stefan Zweig. Source

In a symbolic act of ominous significance, on May 10, 1933, university students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of “un-German” books, presaging an era of state censorship and control of culture. Not all book burnings took place on May 10, some were postponed a few days because of rain. Source

Among the German-speaking authors whose books student leaders burned that night were-:

Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Bertolt Brecht, Max Brod, Otto Dix, Alfred Döblin, Albert Einstein, Friedrich Engels, Lion Feuchtwanger, Marieluise Fleißer, Leonhard Frank, Sigmund Freud, Iwan Goll, George Grosz, Jaroslav Hašek, Heinrich Heine, Ödön von Horvath, Heinrich Eduard Jacob, Franz Kafka, Georg Kaiser, Erich Kästner, Alfred Kerr, Egon Kisch, Siegfried Kracauer, Karl Kraus, Theodor Lessing, Alexander Lernet-Holenia, Karl Liebknecht, Georg Lukács, Rosa Luxemburg, Heinrich Mann, Klaus Mann, Ludwig Marcuse, Karl Marx, Robert Musil, Carl von Ossietzky, Erwin Piscator, Alfred Polgar, Erich Maria Remarque, Ludwig Renn, Joachim Ringelnatz, Joseph Roth, Nelly Sachs, Felix Salten, Anna Seghers, Arthur Schnitzler, Carl Sternheim, Bertha von Suttner, Ernst Toller, Kurt Tucholsky, Jakob Wassermann, Frank Wedekind, Franz Werfel, Grete Weiskopf, Arnold Zweig and Stefan Zweig.
Not only German-speaking authors were burned but also -:

  • French authors like Victor Hugo, André Gide, Romain Rolland, Henri Barbusse,
  • American writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Upton Sinclair, Theodore Dreiser, Jack London, John Dos Passos, Helen Keller
  • English authors Joseph Conrad, D.H. Lawrence, H.G. Wells and Aldous Huxley,
  • Irish writer James Joyce
  • Russian authors including Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Maxim Gorki, Isaac Babel, Vladimir Lenin, Vladimir Nabokov, Leo Tolstoy, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Ilya Ehrenburg. Source

Expulsion that enriched the West

Hitler's Loss by Tom Ambrose

Flight from the Reich: Refugee Jews, 1933-1946, by Deborah Dwork, Robert Jan Pelt

American Jews & the Rescue of Europe's Refugees 1933 - 1941

The Hitler Emigrés: The Cultural Impact on Britain of Refugees from Nazism by Daniel Snowman

Notable Reich Refugees / Emigrés

  1. Marc Chagall - a Russian-born Jewish refugee
  2. Lucian Freud - a well-known British painter, he is a German-Jewish refugee
  3. Arnold Schoenberg - composer
  4. Oscar Straus (composer) - Austrian-Jewish composer and refugee
  5. Robert Stolz - Austrian composer/conductor and refugee
  6. Richard Tauber - Austrian-Jewish singer, composer and refugee
  7. Georg Ludwig von Trapp - father of the Trapp family, whose story inspired The Sound of Music after fleeing Nazi occupied Austria
  8. Michael Balint - Hungarian Jew, psychoanalyst, he fled from Nazism
  9. Sigmund Freud - Austrian Jew, founded psychoanalysis, he fled from Nazism in Austria
  10. Anna Freud - daughter of Sigmund, also a psychoanalyst, she fled with him
  11. Ernest Gellner - Czech-Jewish philosopher. He fled from the Nazis
  12. Stephan Korner - Czech-Jewish philosopher. He fled from the Nazis
  13. Claude Lévi-Strauss - French-Jewish philosopher and anthropologist. He was a French refugee
  14. Karl Popper - Austrian-Jewish philosopher; fled from Nazism to New Zealand
  15. Rabbi Leo Baeck - Reform rabbi and holocaust survivor
  16. Rabbi Dr. Leopold Neuhaus - Chief Rabbi of Frankfurt am Main and holocaust survivor
  17. Rabbi Hugo Gryn - Reform rabbi and holocaust survivor
  18. Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits - Chief rabbi of Great Britain - fled from the Nazis to Britain
  19. Paul Kahle - Christian Hebraist - fled from the Nazis to Britain
  20. Gustav Victor Rudolf Born - pharmacologist - German-Jewish refugee
  21. Max Born - Nobel Prize for physics - German-Jewish refugee
  22. Edith Bulbring - pharmacologist - German-Jewish refugee
  23. Carl Djerassi - the inventor of the first contraceptive pill. He is an Austrian refugee
  24. Albert Einstein - one of the world's most famous scientists - German-Jewish refugee
  25. Alexander Grothendieck - mathematician - German-Jewish refugee
  26. Robert Fano - physicist - Italian-Jewish refugee
  27. Ugo Fano - physicist - Italian-Jewish refugee
  28. Bernard Katz - Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist - German-Jewish refugee
  29. - Nobel Prize-winning scientist - German-Jewish refugee
  30. Sir John Krebs - zoologist - son of Sir Hans Krebs
  31. Lord (Claus) Moser - British professor of statistics and head of the Government Statistical Service - Austrian-Jewish refugee
  32. Walter Kohn - theoretical physicist who won the Nobel Prize (1998) in Chemistry for Density-Functional Theory; left Austria for England via Kindertransport
  33. Charles Proteus Steinmetz - mathematics and electrical engineering - German-Polish refugee.
  34. Marlene Dietrich - actress and refugee from Nazi Germany
  35. Fritz Lang - film director, and a half-Jewish refugee
  36. Jerry Springer - talk show host. His parents were German refugees
  37. Rachel Weisz - actress. Both her parents are Jewish refugees
  38. Billy Wilder - film director and writer, and a Jewish refugee
  39. Elias Canetti - a Bulgarian refugee, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1981
  40. Anne Frank - as a child she fled from Nazi Germany to the Netherlands
  41. Karen Gershon - as a child she fled from Nazi Germany to Great Britain
  42. Michael Hamburger - as a child he fled from Nazi Germany to London
  43. Lord Paul Hamlyn CBE - a Jewish refugee from Germany. He was the founder of Octopus Publishing Group
  44. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala - novelist and film screenwriter - German-Jewish refugee
  45. Judith Kerr - children's writer - German-Jewish refugee
  46. Thomas Mann - winner of the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature. He moved from Germany to Switzerland and from there to the USA
  47. Vladimir Nabokov - Russian author and lepidopterist. Escaped to Europe from the Russian Civil War and then to the United States from the advance of Nazi Germany
  48. Felix Salten - author of Bambi - Hungarian-born Jewish refugee from Nazis. Source
  49. Hannah Arendt - famous German-Jewish political theorist who reported on the Eichmann trial for The New Yorker in 1963. She authored many books, including The Origins of Totalitarianism in 1951


Refugees / Emigrés (1933 - 1945)

List of Project Profiles

Please feel free to add active links to your own family members.

  1. Henirich Berwin
  2. Heinz Boldes
  3. Liselotte Franziska Erlanger Manfredi Glozer
  4. Ida Kohn Erlanger
  5. Renata Erlanger
  6. Leon Heinrich Zinn