Research

Fauman (Stark), Lilo

Emigre
Munich (Germany)

Fauman, nee Liselotte Stark, was born in 1923, the daughter of a clothing manufacturer and merchant residing in Munich, Germany. Her family, although they were practicing Jews, was thoroughly assimilated into Germany's culture and life. Her forefathers, both paternal and maternal, go back within Germany to the sixteenth century. One was a landowner and farmer, quite unusual for German Jews of that time. Her father was an officer in the German army during World War I. He later became a prominent businessman and leader of Munich's Jewish community. Fauman displayed a number of photos of her family and ancestors, of previous residences, of their Men's clothing store, and of the registration papers for their store dating back to 1878.

Fauman does not recall any anti-Semitism prior to the Nazis coming into power in 1933. However, thereafter, and especially after the passage of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, anti-Semitism became quite overt. She had to leave the public high school she attended, go to a private school, and subsequently to an all-Jewish school. At that stage her parents were still undecided about leaving Germany; however, arrangements were made for her two older brothers to emigrate to the United States in September 1938 and for the rest of the family to register on the quota for emigration to the U. S.

Since Fauman's father was an officer of a synagogue, he received early notification on November 9, 1938, of its burning as part of the mass riot against Jews now known as Kristallnacht, or Night of Broken Glass. He was also told that all Jewish male adults were being arrested. Her father fled and during the next several days managed to keep from being arrested through the use of his wits and resourcefulness, the availability of money and luck, and by using his fifteen year-old daughter Lilo as a willing accomplice and decoy. Details of these events are vividly described by Fauman. Their narrow escape from being arrested during Kristallnacht convinced her parents that emigration from Germany was a necessity, and they were able to leave for the United States in February 1939. Fauman tells how the emigration came about, of the disposal of their business, the transfer of some of their personal belongings, and of the trip to freedom.

Fauman believes that the Nazis effectiveness against the Jews resulted from the fact that all Jews were registered and thus easily located. It was also due to the inbred respect by Germans for leadership, authority and their organizational structure, which allowed the Nazi leaders to control the actions of their population.

She also believes in the universal guilt of the German people due to their lack of righteous actions during the Holocaust. She sees similarities between their behavior during the Holocaust and the recent public resentment and violence against foreigners in Germany. She further believes her experiences have made her stronger, more tolerant toward others, and have given her a greater appreciation for life, freedom, and for Judaism.

Interview Information:

Date: March 17, 1993
Interviewer: Hans R. Weinmann
Length: 1 hour 11 minutes
Format: Video recording