LIFE STORIES Archive: Topper-Pylyshenko #2

Irma continues about Die Flucht as a child, the defeat of Germany and life in the Russian zone and then the American zone, the years after and her father’s death, but then seemingly miraculous returns of her aunt and grandfather who both had been thought killed in the war,  and then coming to the U.S.  Her life in the U.S., working at Jewish centers, her dance and teaching career, marriage and family.  Irma describes photographs of her family from 1910 to present.


LIFE STORIES Archive Topper-Pylyshenko

Topper-Pylyshenko, Irma
Irma talks about Die Flucht. She was 6 years old when her family along with millions of other German families fled in cattle cars from Poland near Gdansk/Danzig to the interior of Germany. Her family narrowly escapes the fire bombing of Dresden and the bombing of Leipzig. 14 Million German refugees. She tells a little about her life in Poland before WWII and how her family came to be relocated there. She tells about fleeing the Soviets, being bombed and strafed by the British, living in the Russian Zone and escaping into the American Zone, and eventually coming to the U.S.

LIFE STORIES Archive Neuberg

Fay talks about her young years in Poland, fleeing the Nazis by crossing the border into the Soviet Union, her father ends up in a Siberian labor camp and she and her brother are separated from their mother when American planes bomb the train cars; after being stuffed into train cars, they are thrown from the window to save their lives. On the streets in Kazakhstan, nine year old Fay is arrested for selling cigarettes for food. She and her brother are tortured in the orphanage because they are Jews. After being reunited with her mother, they move back to Poland after WWII where Jews are being persecuted and murdered by the Polish state. They come to the United States. Later her father is released from Siberia after Stalin’s death and he comes to the United States, continuing his writing and becoming a celebrated Yiddish writer.  Pastor Orgazaly reads excerpts from “My Yesterdays,” titled, “He was ashamed to be naked” and “Someday when you see my wife.”