EMIGRATION, N.Y. - The Story of an Expulsion





"You have to understand, that we were not part of the welcoming crowd during the "Anschluß". We were not outside. We were not am Heldenplatz, right? We were in our apartments, shivering, feeling, that the end of the world had come. And from that moment on, our whole life was going to be different, and everybody was thinking about death."

AMOS VOGEL, Interview, December 7, 1994 in New York City


Between March of 1938 and November 1941, the National Socialists employed discriminatory decrees, laws and open terror to drive 130.000, mostly Jewish citizens into exile. Approximately 30.000 of them fled to the United States. New York was the preferred center.

The Austrian documentary director Egon Humer visited twelve of these former Austrians of Jewish origin in New York. The talks he had with them form the basis of EMIGRATION, N.Y.

Seven women and five men talk about their childhood in Austria, living under constant existential danger after the ‘Anschluß’, the loss of property, the struggle to emigrate, the strains of the mostly odyssee-like journey, the arrival in a foreign country where not only the language was alien to them; the poverty and self-doubt of a refugee’s existence, survival, the knowledge that relatives back in Europe were being persecuted and murdered. They speak about their search for a new identity, their memories, fears and hopes which they experienced during later visits to their "homeland". At the time of their escape from Austria, most of his interview partners were still children or adolescents. Their (retrospective) childhood perspectives in the light of which these past events are depicted, set the tone of this film and define the phenomenon of emigration from a different point of view.


FILME:  Meine "Zigeuner" Mutter | Leon Askin | Matura | Intifada