Borger (Weinstock), A.

Borger (Weinstock), A.

Vienna (Austria)

Born in Vienna, Austria in 1918, Borger was one of six children of a Conservative Jewish family. Her father was a tailor and her mother stayed home with the children. Borger attended public schools, eventually obtaining a teaching certificate from the Vienna Teachers College. She remembers anti-Semitism and being called a “dirty Jew.” Her father and two sisters were Zionists and planned to move to Palestine. In 1938, while Borger was working at a private kindergarten, she went to work one day as usual and found the doors taped shut. That same year, her parents immigrated to Palestine with her two sisters. Her brother, who had gone to Paris to study art, joined the underground and was killed shortly thereafter. One of Borger’s sisters remained in Vienna and married a non-Jew. Initially protected because of her marriage, this sister later endured several years in a labor camp.

Borger’s fiance had immigrated to the United States and she tried to obtain a visa in Finland, but was unsuccessful. She was allowed to apply in Denmark, but had to endure a nine-month probationary period in which she reported weekly on her efforts to find work in the United States. She finally came to the United States in November 1939 aboard a Swedish ship.

Borger feels that her “happy-go-lucky spirit” and security were taken away because of Hitler and his desire for a “Jewish-free world.” She cannot forget or forgive the Austrian government for taking away her rights and her citizenship.

Interview Information:
Date: September 10, 1998
Interviewer: Judy Michaels
Length: 1 hour
Format: Video recording