Werner Schenk is from Luebeck, Germany. His family was arrested by the Gestapo many times but his father, a specialist tool and die maker working on advanced military systems, was needed. After being alerted by a friend in the police department, he and his mother went into hiding with the help of nuns in the town’s hospital. Werner attended school with a false identity, protected by the principal. While his immediate family survived, 40 of his relatives were murdered in the camps.
Life in Germany
Life in America
My grandfather Wolf Schild. Taken from Berlin in the fall of 1942 (with my grandmother Hanna) to Theresienstadt (Terezin, Czechoslovakia). My grandfather was diabetic but was refused medication. In fact, tens of thousands of people died in Theresienstadt from malnutrition and lack of medical care. My grandfather died in December 1942. My grandmother was sent to Auschwitz almost immediately where she was murdered.
This picture was taken January 12, 1929 in my home town of Lubeck Germany near the Baltic Sea. Most of the subjects were people very important in my life. Front row (L to R) my mother's older sister Hertha, my grandfather Wolf Schild (64 years old at the time), my grandmother Hanna (55 years old at the time) Back row (L to R) Gertel and Josef PreuB - Josef was a German police officer and a devout Catholic who refused to join the Nazi Party (He helped our family avoid Gestapo roundups and go into hiding), my parents Rosa and Alfred Schenk - just engaged to be married.
This picture was taken aboard the St. Louis on May 19, 1939. My mother's older brother Ison, his wife and son were attempting to join my mother's younger brother and wife Margo in Cuba. The ship was turned away from Cuba and the United States and forced to return to Europe. Upon arriving they were returned to Germany. Along the way all woman and children were taken from the train and never seen again. Ison was sent to Dachau where he was executed several weeks before American troops liberated the prison.