Child Holocaust Survivor Allan J. Hall Speaks in Mobile
Allan J. Hall, who was about 5 years old in 1939, survived the Holocaust in Poland. He came to the Springhill Avenue Temple to speak and also visited various other schools and institutions in the area. Allan was our speaker at the Holocaust Memorial Service, which was held this year at the Temple.
He just published a memoir of his experiences during the Holocaust called Hiding In Plain Sight which is available as a download in pdf format.
Allan tells about his life before the war---
"I was born in Cracow, Poland in April 1935, the first child of an upper middle class, secular Jewish family. My name at birth was Adam Janush Horowitz, but later I would have many names in my childhood. From the start I was showered with love and attention by my parents and grandparents. I was the special child, doted on by everyone. My parents were what we would now call yuppies. My father was always beautifully dressed in a suit and tie and always carried a briefcase. He would leave work, come home for lunch, play tennis at his club and then go back to the office for a couple of hours. My mother spent her time playing the violin, socializing and visiting with her parents and sister. She could cook if she had to, but she preferred not to. We would go to restaurants. Our summers were spent at the Baltic seashore or in the Carpathian Mountains. We led a charmed life."
He also spoke to our Religious School.
Allan tells about how his father saved his mother and himself---
"Passing as an Austrian industrialist, my father rented a suite of offices in the tallest skyscraper in Poland, the Drapacz. The building was the epicenter of the German presence in Poland. The top floors were occupied by the Luftwaffe, the German air force headquarters. Other floors housed German munitions and military supply companies. My father created a fictitious company that was supposed to be furnishing supplies to the German army. To create the appearance of a normal company he hired a secretary and a bookkeeper to handle bills of lading, invoices, and other paperwork. (There was never any real business - my father and mother wrote the incoming correspondence themselves.) Of course, the real purpose for renting the office was for my mother and me to have a safe place to hide. We were hoping the Nazis would not look for Jews in their own headquarters building."