Lilo Strauss

"Do the best you can to survive and have a normal life"

Name at birth
Lilo Marxheimer
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Moved to Berlin in 1932
Name of father, occupation
Aduard Marxheimer, Had a telephone company in Dösseldorf
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Martha Katzenstein, Homemaker
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents, sister Hilde and me
How many in entire extended family?
Large extended family, each parent had five siblings. All were killed. Family tree in Germany goes back 500 years.
Who survived the Holocaust?
Only me
My father died in 1926, my mother and step-father fled to Belgium and later France.  They were captured by the Nazis and were killed at Auschwitz.
My sister Hilde and her husband, left for Brazil in 1939.  I acquired a false visa for Haiti for 1000 German marks.  In 1940, by myself, I fled Germany going by train to Russia, Manchuria, Korea.  I sailed to Japan then to the United States.  I was not allowed to enter the port of Los Angeles as I did not have a visa to enter America.  I next went to Panama where I had a transit visa and stayed there for one year.  I took my record player with me and during my journey out of Germany, I was able to entertain people and make friends.
I had relatives in Nashville, Tennessee who signed an affidavit allowing me to enter the US and I settled in New York.  I married another refugee who I met in Panama.  In 1942, my husband and I moved to Detroit for work.  
Occupation after the war
Created Department Store Displays
Egon Weiser; Kurt Strauss
Fred Weiser and Carmen Weiner
Four grandchildren: Jill, Mark, Hilary, and Erin Five great-grandchildren
What do you think helped you to survive?
My inner strength and knowing what to do to survive
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
Do the best you can to survive and have a normal life
Charles Silow
Interview date:

Survivor's map

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