Erika Kahn was born in Berlin, Germany in 1925. Kahn’s family was Jewish and by the mid-1930s the family felt increasing hostility
and persecution from the Nazi government. As a child, she was bullied and beaten by classmates in the local public school,
but in 1935 Jewish children were segregated to Jewish-only schools. Kahn attended Theodore Herzl School and has noted her
time there was considered a safe haven for children under an increasingly threatening regime. On November 9, 1938, Kristallnacht
(pogrom against Jews carried out by Sturmabteilung and German Civilians), Kahn witnessed the school and her local synagogue
destroyed. Soon after Kristallnacht, Kahn’s Mother escaped to Morocco and her younger brother, Erwin, was sent on a Kindertransport
to England. Through Kahn’s Stepmother, Hilde, and her US visa, Erika was able to escape Germany and live in the New York.
Her grandparents, Adel and Samu Fekete, and other extend family members perished in Auschwitz on September 24, 1942.
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