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January 11, 1930 | Vienna, Austria
Inge grew up in Vienna's Leopoldstadt, a large Jewish district located between the banks of the Danube Canal and the Danube River. The Scheers loved music, and Inge grew up listening to family members singing selections from popular operettas.
1933-39: I was 8 years old when the Germans annexed Austria in 1938 and my parents decided we'd better flee. We were smuggled illegally, via the Netherlands, to Brussels where the Jewish community helped to hide illegal refugees like us. There in Belgium I began to perform in the Yiddish theater, and became known as a child star. Once I performed in a show that featured the famous Yiddish actress Molly Picon.
1940-44: The Germans occupied Belgium in 1940. I became known as "Irene," because Inge sounded too German. A year later, my sister Herta disappeared. My parents moved us to a neighborhood on the outskirts of Brussels, where I attended a Catholic school. But when the Mother Superior (knowing I was Jewish) said, "Mary is the mother of ALL children, believers and non-believers," I feared the kids would find out, so I never went back. I was 14 when Brussels was liberated. Then we began to search for my sister.
After the war, Inge learned that her sister had perished at Auschwitz. In 1948 the Scheers left Europe for Argentina, and in 1949 they emigrated to the United States.
Herta's Viennese mother and Polish-born father owned a successful men's ...
Hidden Children and the Holocaust (USHMM online exhibition: Life in Shadows) Children and the Holocaust (CAHS Symposium) Hidden Children (USHMM Library bibliography) Children of the Holocaust (Museum of Tolerance exhibit)
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