Oral History

Norbert I. Swislocki describes leaving Warsaw with his mother upon the outbreak of war

Norbert was 3 years old when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. He and his mother were in Warsaw; his father had been drafted into the Polish army and later ended up in Vilna. Norbert and his mother set out to join him and the family was reunited after a few months. After the family had been in Vilna for about a year, Norbert's father was able to obtain visas for Curacao in the Dutch West Indies and visas for transit through Japan. Norbert and his parents left Vilna in January 1941, and arrived in Kobe, Japan, in February. They stayed in Japan for the next eight months, until Japanese authorities required them to leave for Shanghai in Japanese-occupied China. Norbert and his parents spent the rest of the war in Shanghai. In June 1947 the family immigrated to the United States with the aid of Jewish American servicemen stationed in Shanghai after the war.



  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum
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