Rene Kirchheim, Dominican Republic, Sosua discussed on

KCRW
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And who, you know, had an island in the end only about seven hundred German Jews made it there. The Dominican Republic. The Belgium with a population of about one and a half million opened it hard to the homeless people in Europe. Number one seven hundred the sewer bay Rene Kirchheim father was among the refugees were sent to the outposts. So Suwa he worked in the fashion industry in Germany escape to Luxembourg. Then the Dominican Republic where he found a much different life awaiting him, my father when he had a farm he raised college as well. And you won't allow the price and the end fears. I see the joke that we're very kosher. Pigs. Kirchheim mother also came from Germany, but wasn't Jewish Kirchner was born in the Dominican Republic in nineteen forty two. I spoke with him via phone from Sosua. I'm home right now looking out the window. I got my head out the window. Why do you have your head out the window to get the wifi signal is a little better? I don't want you to fade away. We get the connection working in Kirchheim or tells me it wasn't so easy and Sosua in the nineteen forties. It was very very very pioneer. You the old westerns the movies? It's very at the first few years. We didn't. You know that that came later. And we had like these kerosene lamps. And we had a big vessel to have cool water a tough life. But Kirchheim has fond memories. He says he had black and Brown friends and nobody cared that. He was ju- today. He says only a handful of the descendants of Jewish refugees are left and Sosua most eventually left for the United States, the agricultural experiment in Susu, a long ago transformed into a beach resort town, the small synagogues still stands there. They don't have a rabbi but Kirchheim says for the holidays, they improvise the older gentleman. He he knows the routine, and you know, he knows how to hold a ceremony. So. Shut up by rabbi. But he'll do I ask her timer. What he'd like people to know about the story of his town. I would like. The Dominican Republic get the proper recognition or for digested. They had back into competition. Dunkin thirty eight had done the same a us, whatever shape and that takes us back to New Hampshire and Huber after he met Kirchheim her and the other remaining Jewish descendants. And so he became determined to spread their story three years ago. Baber made his way to France the five store resort on Lake Geneva where the nine-day conference was held back in nineteen thirty eight. I wasn't wearing my nicest clothes I had on my Michigan state baseball hat, and I was just kind of a tourist, you know, and they'll give me a hard time even letting me in. And so Finally, I lied and said Emma journalist from Boston here to report on a story. He talks his way into getting the manager at the hotel royale to show him around. There.

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