My Jewish Legacy | Inge Guggenheimer nee Bodenheimer
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Inge Guggenheimer nee Bodenheimer

Inge Guggenheimer nee Bodenheimer

Posted by Elyse in Stories 26 Feb 2010

How old were you when you left Germany?
I was just thirteen when we left Germany

How did you feel when you found out what was going on and that you had to leave?
My parents kept the details of our leaving pretty much to themselves for fear that we might be stopped by an inadverdent remark.

Were you upset that you had to leave your friends behind?
My two grandmothers and an aunt came to live in our home a few weeks before we left.(I was told that it was no longer safe for them to live in the relatively small towns where they had resided all their lives.)I took in those facts but failed to connect them to our subsequent departure. Besides I think I must have been depressed by all that fear and failed to concentrate on what was going on.There was a huge sense of relief when we had finally crossed the border and my dad came into our hotel bedroom and said that we were now safe. I went to school in Riehen which was town accross the border in Switzerland and I was friendly with only one girl.There was no after-school contact with any of my classmates and the german kids in my hometown were not allowed to associate with us.That was pretty isolating and I believe it set my approach to human intercourse for the rest of my life

Grandpa Bert had to change his name, did you? If you did, how did you feel about it? Did you feel like you were leaving part of yourself behind because you had to have a new name and start a new life?
A teacher in a low grade of public school(I knew no english and was put in a much lower class than my age or education entitled me to be in) changed
my name from Ingeborg to Inez. What did she know! I was never the latin type.! We were all starting over and to some degree it was an adventure.

Have you ever gone back to your home in Germany? How did you feel?
I visited Loerrach together with Kurt once and then once again on my own.

After the war, did you look up your old friends/family and try to get back in touch with them?
The first time I saw my old nanny and it was strange. Her guilt and difficult times during the war made us guarded with each other.I was young then. I would have a different attitude now!!!

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