Of Blessed Memory
1916 – 2012
Ilsa Dahl grew up in Geilenkirchen, Germany where her family had lived for generations. They were observant Jews and patriotic Germans, and Ilsa’s father had served in the German army during World War I. Of the town’s 4000 inhabitants, most were Roman Catholics, with whom the family enjoyed friendly relations. Ilsa had hoped to be an archeologist, but the Nazis thwarted her hopes for higher education, so she studied dressmaking, first in Aachen and then in Berlin, where she met her future husband. Ilsa, who already had an American visa, left Germany days after Kristallnacht, but her parents and most of her extended family were killed in camps.
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©2013 Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
Testimonies may be used for individual research with proper citation. All other uses require written permission from MCHE. The above video testimony is edited from a full-length testimony that may be viewed onsite at the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education or at the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University