Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Henry Bardach
Q: So this was when you were in gymnasium.
BARDACH: Oh yes I was in gymnasium. I remember coming home one day. You know how in Europe the doctors and lawyers have fairly large signs outside the buildings. You can see, by the way, there are wonderful examples of this in the Holocaust Museum, excellent photos and pictures. Here I came home and there was a big red or yellow piece of paper pasted across my father's medical shingle saying that this is a non Aryan professional, and we recommend that you not deal with him or something along those lines. I don't know the exact language. There are photos of that type in the Holocaust Museum. That was a bit of a shocker. Then, I remember friends and fellow students and even neighbors saying what's going on here; what's this? They couldn't understand it. The impact of the Nuremberg laws was only gradually taking place.
Q: The Nuremberg laws were the racial laws that the Nazis put in.
BARDACH: The Nazis yes. Well, among other things, but particularly the racial laws. Then it became a much more acute situation in terms of my feeling that I'm not a member of this society any more. But this didn't break off friendships right away. Not at all. It just cast a shadow over everything we were doing. My sister was much more sensitive to this and felt it even more and urged my father not to wait too long before making some kind of a move. It is not an easy thing to do. Families who are... In Germany it is ironic, but the degree of assimilation of many of the Jewish people and also of the other minorities was very great, much greater than in many other societies. My dad was close to 50. The idea of moving from his roots and starting somewhere else really was a very difficult thought to accommodate oneself with, but of course like many others eventually he did. Fortunately, he didn't wait too long. He made his first stab at checking out the US. He went to one of the big ship lines.
Q: Hamburg American Lines I'm sure.