The beginning of the end of German Jewry

1933

< 29 SEPTEMBER 1933
7 OCTOBER 1933 >

Monday
2 October 1933

Heinz Aram’s child’s identity card

When ten-year-old Heinz Walter Aram (b. 1923) had his picture taken for this child’s identity card, he smiled happily at the camera. The stamps from both the French Consulate and the Foreign Exchange Control Office at the Berlin Taxation Authority reveal why the card was issued—so the family could immigrate to France. In search of a secure source of income for the family, Heinz’s mother, Rosa Aram (1895–1978), had opened a tailor’s shop there specializing in school uniforms. Heinz left his hometown for Paris in fall 1933. After spending six months at the private elementary school run by the Jewish School Association in the Berlin district of Charlottenburg, he was now enrolled in the École alsacienne in Rue Notre-Dame des Champs.

However, the family did not stay in France for long. In 1934 they returned to Berlin, where Heinz continued his education at the Private Waldschule Grunewald and then at the American School. In 1936 he celebrated his bar mitzvah at the Fasanenstrasse synagogue.

But of course his future did not lie in Germany. On the morning of 9 November 1938—just before the pogroms began throughout the country—Heinz Aram left Berlin with his mother and his brother Arnold, heading for Great Britain. This was the first stop on their long journey to Australia, for which Rosa Aram had received entry permits in September 1938. In June 1939 her husband, Julius (1876–1959), escaped to Sweden and from there traveled to Australia, where he was reunited with the family one year later.

All that Heinz Aram packed in his bag from his time in Paris were two report cards. But he took along something of far greater import, which he has kept to the present day: his new first name, Henri.

Aubrey Pomerance

Categorie(s): Berlin | childhood | emigration
Child’s identity card issued to Heinz Aram, Berlin, 2 October 1933
Gift of Henri W. Aram
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