Join Holocaust Museum Houston as Charles Kurt shares his testimony. As soon as the Nazis entered Austria in March 1938, they began to terrorize and humiliate the Jews. They forced Charles's mother to scrub the streets on hands and knees. Later, she was arrested and held briefly on trumped-up charges. At school, teachers and students openly ridiculed Charles and he and his mother had to give up their apartment. Worse was to come. On the night of November 9, 1938, brown-shirted storm troopers incited and carried out violent attacks against the Jews of Germany and Austria, burning synagogues, destroying homes and looting Jewish businesses. Thousands of Jewish men were arrested, among them Charles’s stepfather Ernst Kurt.
Desperate, his mother arranged for Charles to travel to Belgium with a children’s transport. Ernst had already been released from Dachau and had gone to America. His father, Paul, wrote to each other every day. In one letter, Paul told Charles that he had been taken to a labor camp in Poland. Charles never heard from his father again. He never learned what happened to him. In the spring of 1940, just weeks before Germany invaded Belgium, Charles was finally able to sail to America to join his mother and stepfather.
This event is free with Museum admission.