Spaetzle Boards

My great-grandfather, George, was arrested in Vienna during Kristallnact (my grandfather hid in the basement of his aunt and uncle’s bicycle store). Shortly after, George was released because he had been a P.O.W. and a highly decorated officer during WWI. He was told that his family had 48 hours to pack-up all their belongings and leave Austria. Knowing the Nazi’s took valuable objects, they hid their jewelry in bars of soap, which they put under old cutting boards. When George brought them crates to be inspected, he told the officer, “Look what my wife choose to pack? Cutting boards for making spaetzle, we clearly have nothing important.” Whether they believed him or choose to turn a blind eye, they nailed closed the container and let them be shipped. My great-grandmother, great-grandfather, and grandfather all were able to leave Austria in safety and made their way first to Switzerland, then England, and finally to New York. My mother and her three brothers still have many of the objects hidden in those boxes, including the cutting boards and my mother cooks her grandmother’s spaetzle recipe. 

Year: 1938

– Sonya

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant