Manfred Lehman

"Let there be peace, health, and happiness on earth. What happened to the Jewish people, such tyranny should not exist in the world."

Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Schaafheim, Germany
Name of father, occupation
Nathan Lehman, Livestock dealer
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Luise Siegel, Homemaker
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents, me and Kaethe, my younger sister
Who survived the Holocaust?
Only me
On November 9, 1938 my father and I were arrested on Kristallnacht.  We were sent to Buchenwald concentration camp.  My family had been friends with the police chief of our city.  My mother went to the police chief to have us return home.  My mother was able to get us out of Buchenwald after one month.  
I was beaten while there and my hair was shorn down the middle with a razor to humiliate me.  I came home beaten, bruised, and dirty.  A lot of people didn’t come back though, they were beaten and killed.  
After I was released from Buchenwald, the Gestapo summoned me to come to them; they asked me how soon I could get out of Germany.  We had relatives in Holland who we contacted and they were able to send me papers to come to Holland.  I spent eight months in a refugee camp in Amsterdam and one year in Westerbork.
I later left Holland for America.  One of my cousins in, Alfred Strauss, sent me an affidavit to come to him.  I had no money when I arrived.  I first came to Albany, New York where another cousin lived.  I slept in an unheated room with some other people.  I then went to Detroit to work at my cousin’s meat packing business on the Eastern Market.  He sold meat to institutions.   
After I came to America, I tried to get papers for my parents to come to America, but the war had already started.  The papers arrived too late for my parents to leave.  They were deported to Piaski, Poland near Lublin, Galicia, where they were killed.  My sister was killed in northern Poland.  
Name of Concentration / Labor Camp(s)
When did you come to the United States?
March 21, 1940
Occupation after the war
Wholesale meat business
When and where were you married?
1946 and 1978
Rose Oppenheim (deceased); Ruth Lehman
Karen, physical therapist Linda, teacher
Nathan and Adam; Joshua and Michael Great grandchild(ren): Blaine and Aliyah
What do you think helped you to survive?
Because I was young and healthy. I played soccer all of my life. In Westerbork, I got the mumps, the side effects were deafness in one ear for the rest of my life.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
Let there be peace, health, and happiness on earth. What happened to the Jewish people, such tyranny should not exist in the world.
Charles Silow
Interview date:

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