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Herta Scheer-Krygier

Munich, Germany

Herta's Viennese mother and Polish-born father owned a successful men's clothing business in Munich when Herta was born. After Hitler's antisemitic Nazi party attempted to overthrow the German government in November 1923, the Jewish Scheer family moved to Vienna, where Herta's grandparents lived.

1933-39: Hiking was one of Herta's favorite activities. She belonged to the Zionist youth group called Gordonia, and at their meetings the members spoke about creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine. After the Germans annexed Austria in 1938, Herta's parents decided it was better to leave and they were smuggled illegally, via the Netherlands, into Brussels.

1940-42: The Germans occupied Belgium in 1940. In 1941 Herta married Srulek Krygier, but in 1942 he was ordered to "report for labor in the east." Later, she heard about a meeting where she might find out where Srulek had been sent. But it was a trick: She was arrested and deported. On the train she wrote a letter to her parents, writing on the envelope: "To whomever finds this: Maybe you have a son in the war and will understand the feelings of parents wanting to hear from their child..." She tossed the letter from the cattle car.

Herta sent one postcard from Auschwitz, using veiled language: "Unexpectedly, I met your mother here," implying she had met with death. She perished at Auschwitz.

Inge grew up in Vienna's Leopoldstadt, a large Jewish district located ...
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