AustriaHolocaustSurvivorWhat We Carried

Jewish Passport, Vienna, Austria

Jim Lommasson
Jim Lommasson / What We Carried

Evelyn Banko:

My parents and I were already in Riya, Latvia on October 5, 1938 when all German passports held by Jews became invalid and had to be sent to  Germany to be stamped with the letter “J.”

On January 1, 1939, all Jewish men and women having first names of “non-Jewish” origin had to add “Israel” or “Sara” to their given names. My father added the names to our travel passes.

England and France declared war on Nazi Germany on Sept 5, 1939. Our first stop in North America was Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Our German passports prevented us from leaving the ship to sightsee. 

We arrived in Seattle, Washington on August 24, 1940 to begin our new life in Portland, Oregon.