Bloomberg, Mary

Mary Bloomberg (geb. Maria Klopper) wuchs in der Sankt-Veit. Gasse Ecke Larochegasse auf. Ihre Familie flüchtete in die Vereinigten Staaten.

My parents were Harry and Lilly Klopper. My dad was an attorney, and his office was in the Hochhaus, in the city. My grandfather was one of the founders of the Synagoge, but I don´t remember his being particulary religious. My parents and my brother and I were not religious, though we were exposed to religion in school. We lived at St. Veitgasse 24, corner of LaRochegasse 37. We lived in an apartment. I do remember that we had a very nice terrace, and also there was a garden, where I played when I was a little kid. Also there was a park not too far from us, I think it was a city block, on Fichtnergasse (or some such name). Also took tennis lessons in some park, but don´t know where. The first time I was a aware of a swastika, was when I was 10 years old, in 1933, when mother and I went skiing in the Alps, and saw Swastikas made out of wood, being burned. The day after the „Anschluss“ all my classmates, who had been friends (or so I thought) who were not Jewish arrived in their Nazi uniforms, and no longer spoke to the Jewish girls. There were just a few of us in each of the classes. Even the teachers gave us a hard time. I was able to stand this for a month, when I dropped out of school. One teacher, Prof. Angemeier (spelling) had the guts to take me aside and tell me how sorry she was to see me go.

Our family nursemaid
Our family nursemaid used to sneak over to our house at night to help my mother. Our maid who had been with us for 7 years, left the day of the „Anschluss“, running down the street screaming that she had worked for these „dirty“ Jews for all these years. One thing I might add is that my dad was saved because he a letter stating that he had been an officer in the Austrian army during World War I. In September 1938 I left Vienna with the help of the American Embassy and the JDC (Joint Distribution Committee) and went to London. Was in boarding school for a couple of months before coming the U.S. My brother was already in the States, my mother arrived here in April 1939, and my dad was first in a labor camp in France, escaped from there, went over the Pyrennes eventually to Lisbon, from where he first went Santa Domingo, and eventually got here in September 1940.

My Grandparents died before the „Anschluss“
Fortunately my grandparents died before the „Anschluss“, because the whole mess would have very traumatic, and probably impossible to deal with. Our whole family was able to get away. One family ended up in France and finally came to New York. Another family ended up in England, and we and another family ended up in New York. Fortunately, inspite of all the hardships and changes, we were lucky and our lives turned out to be successful and good. My dad died at age 88, and my mother died at age 94. I went to Highschool in New York, then went to college, Smith College in Massachusetts. Married an American from Cleveland Ohio. We have two children, boy and girl, and three grandchildren, two boys and one girl. From March 38 to September 38 was a horrible time for us. You´d never know what the next day would bring. Fortunately most of our friends were able to get out as well. Many ended up in the States. Some went to Australia, some went to England, some to Sweden. Of course we lost touch with some of them. But by and large we were the lucky ones.