Warner Bergh

Of Blessed Memory 1923-2021

Warner Silberberg was born in Germany in 1923. At the end of October 1938, 15-year-old Warner left Berlin with his parents to begin a journey that crossed three continents, leaving behind family, friends and a comfortable lifestyle. The 24-day voyage brought them to a part of the world they knew little about. For the next 10 years, Shanghai, China, would be home to the Silberbergs and 20,000 other European Jewish refugees.

Over that decade, they experienced highs and lows, from feeling relatively prosperous – despite living without a bathtub or toilet — to worrying where their next meal would come from. Life in Shanghai held many trials – poor and scarce housing, challenges finding work, and contagious like typhus and dysentery. Despite these hardships, with his German friends, Warner participated in a youth group, played soccer, learned to speak Chinese, and when there was enough money, went to American films.

The Silberbergs left Shanghai for the United States in 1949 as the Communist party took over. In the United States, Warner’s family changed their last name to Bergh. In 1956, Warner met his wife Esther, a German refugee who had escaped through the Kindertransport. The couple settled in Des Moines before retiring to Overland Park, Kansas.

Learn more about Warner Bergh
Resource Materials

Copyright Notices

Family photographs are the property of the survivor’s family and are used here with permission. Portraits are copyrighted by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. No photographs may be used or reproduced without permission.

©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.

Questions? Ask MCHE.

Get Answers

Be a part of our future.

Our mission is to teach the history of the Holocaust, applying its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance, and genocide.

Consider making a gift today.


Get in touch with us.

5801 West 115th Street STE #106,
Overland Park, KS 66211

(913) 327-8192


Contact Us