Sharing Memories of Berlin Childhood
Hyman, Ann, The Florida Times Union
It began on the night of Nov. 9, 1938, the 48 hours of
government-sanctioned terrorism in which dozens of German Jews
were killed, tens of thousands were arrested to be sent to
concentration camps, 200 synagogues were burned, thousands of
Jewish businesses were smashed.
Nov. 9, 1938, is called Kristallnacht (Crystal Night) because
of the heaps of broken glass left behind by the Nazi plunderers.
Some historians see Kristallnacht as the beginning of the last
horrendous phase of the Holocaust in which, in the war years
1939-1945, millions of European Jews died.
The Schybilski family, Jewish, yet living a comfortable life in
Berlin, literally slept through Kristallnacht. They did not know
what had happened until they woke up and learned of the deaths,
the smashed way of life, and learned that the father of the
family was a wanted man. They knew it was time to leave Germany.
"We left Germany four days after Krystalnacht. We were very
lucky we were able to leave," said Marianne Buchwalter, the
Schybilski daughter who was 14 when her family came to America.
They came to Oregon, where Buchwalter still lives, through an
Some time in the mid-1930s, Buchwalter's uncle saw an ad in a
German newspaper placed by someone in Oregon who wanted to live
in Hitler's Germany and offered to exchange property in America
for property in Germany. Buchwalter's uncle took him up on the
So, when Buchwalter's family left Germany, there was a place to
Buchwalter, who has written a book recalling her family and her
early years, Memories of a Berlin Childhood (Premiere Press
International, $17.95), will tell her story at 11 a.m. today at
the Jewish Community Alliance, 8505 San Jose Blvd.
Buchwalter, a retired psychotherapist, said during a telephone
conversation from her home in Portland that the book covers more
than her Berlin childhood.
"I'm talking about all the people in my life and what happened
to them," she said. …