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Jakob and Frieda
Frieda, wife of Jakob Blechner in Munich 1930. Wedding of Frieda and Jakob, 12th June 1934. Jakob (1st on left) at the Bad Schauenburg, Liestal workcamp. In the camps, inmates are required to work in the "national interest." Jakob Blechner in February 1942 with his son Markus (born 20th November 1941). Jakob Blechner and family in Zürich, autumn 1948.
Jakob Blechner emigrates by plane to Switzerland with his wife Frieda. Letter dd 16.9.40 from Jakob to the Cantonal Alien Police Department, Zürich. Letter dd 16.9.40 from Jakob to the Cantonal Alien Police Department, Zürich.
Letter dd 30.05.1941 from Swiss Federal Aliens Office, Bern to Jakob Blechner, Zurich.

Jakob and Frieda

Jakob and his wife Frieda flee to Switzerland in August 1939. From there they want to go to Oskar in Great Britain via France and ultimately to move to the USA. The outbreak of war prevents them from realising their plans.

Life in Switzerland for Jewish refugees is not easy. However, Jakob and Frieda are able to avoid going into a hostel and live in a private apartment. As refugees are not allowed to work, the near penniless couple have to rely on support from Jewish charities. Jakob is required to perform community service from 1940 until 1946 with few breaks in between.

A Zurich benefactor, Jakob Sussmann, enables him to train as a silk weaver for a year during 1942/43. Frieda is employed as a domestic maid and is able to live together with her son Markus who was born in 1941. She is lucky as many other refugee mothers are separated from their children.

Jakob can correspond from neutral Switzerland with all the family and to pass on news between them. After the death of his father in Buchenwald, as the oldest brother he takes on the role of head of the family.

Jakob Blechner died 15th April 1978 in Zurich.