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Centropa Stories

Jewish Witness to a European Century


Ep. 7: Kurt Rosenkranz: Vienna to Kazakhstan
Kurt was obsessed with football (soccer). When the family fled to Riga  after 1938 and he became obsessed with Communism. Until a Red Army  soldier knocked on their door, ordered the family to follow him, and  sent them on a train to a gulag prison camp. “Communism,” Kurt said,  “You’re dead to me.” narrated by David Horovitch.
16:47 08.03.2022
Ep. 6: Kitty Drill: From Laa an der Thaya to Mauritius
Kitty Drill came from a family of cattle dealers and fruit sellers. When  the Germans occupied Austria, eight mem-bers of her family took a ship  down the Danube, another to Haifa, and ended up in a British prison in  the Indian Ocean. Narrated by Julia Franklin. 
12:06 08.03.2022
Ep. 5: Heinz Bischitz: From Oberwaltersdorf to Budapest
Heinz came from the only Jewish family in their village and got along  with everyone. Until Austria was subsumed into the Third Reich. A tale  of fleeing to Hungary for safety. Out of the frying pan and into the  fire. Narrated by Allan Corduner.
13:50 08.03.2022
Ep. 4: Lilli Tauber: From Wiener Neustadt to Cockney Cley
Lilli was living in a small town when suddenly, all her non-Jewish  friends started avoiding her. Then came November 9th. Lilli’s parents  desperately looked for a way to save their daughter. Narrated by Sara Kestelman.
14:18 08.03.2022
Ep 3: Kitty Suschny: From Vienna to Manchester
Kitty’s father died of a heart attack well before the Germans marched  into Austria. After the Anschluss her brother fled and Kitty’s mother  took her to the station. “Don’t worry about me,” she said. “I’m the  widow of an army officer.”
16:18 08.03.2022
Ep. 2: Sophie Engler: From Vienna to a village in Scotland
Sophie was born into a wealthy family that would soon lose everything,  including the lives of her family. Just nine-years-old when her mother brought her to the train station, Sophie could only hope she’d see her mother again. Narrated by Jilly Bond. 
14:32 08.03.2022
Ep. 1: Introduction 12. March, 1938
Introduction to season two of CENTROPA STORIES Edward Serotta Between 2002 and 2009, Tanja Eckstein interviewed 77 elderly Jews here in Vienna. More than half of them had been born here, and were lucky enough to flee after the Germans occupied the country in 1938. Our academic intern Jackie Olson spent months reading through each one of them, then selected six interviews for us. To bring these dramatic stories to life in our second podcast season, we turned to six actors in London and six here in Vienna. That means Fabio Gschweidl, our in-house programmer and designer, set up all 12 episodes while Patrick Schmid, our resident podcast producer, created the music and sound design. Patrick was assisted by Ivo Spassov in Sofia. This season of CENTROPA STORIES was made possible by the Austrian Federal Chancellery and the Jack Buncher Foundation of Pittsburgh.
04:32 08.03.2022
Ep. 5: Bonus material - Interview with Wendy Goldman
narrated by: Wendy Goldman Historian Wendy Goldman of Carnegie Mellon on the Soviet Union and the home front during the war. Read Feiga Kil’s Centropa biography and see her pictures here.
22:13 21.12.2021
Ep. 4: Feiga Kil’, Riga, Latvia
narrated by: Sara Kestelman Isaac  Aizman was a neurosurgeon in Riga. His wife Tobe-Leya remained at home  raising four children. When war came, Dr Aizman was conscriopted into  the Soviet Army. He told his wife to flee eastward. She hesitated. And  that would cost them all. Read Feiga Kil’s Centropa biography and see her pictures here.
13:24 21.12.2021
Ep. 3: Moses Chubat, Chisinau, Moldova
narrated by: David Horovitch Moses  Chubat was but ten years old when the Romanian and German  armies  invaded Moldova. Barely escaping Chisinau, which was being set ablaze,  Moses, his parents and grandparents fled by train, ship and wagon—all  the way to Uzbekistan, 4,000 miles from home. Read Moses Chubat’s Centropa biography and view his pictures here
09:38 21.12.2021
Ep. 2: Samuel Birger, Jonava, Lithuania
narrated by: Allan Corduner Samuel Birger tells the harrowing story of what it was like for his  family to flee from their shtetl of Jonava as the Germans sped through  the country, and more than a few Lithuanians joined in what would become  an orgy of killing. The Birger family fled by horse and wagon, by foot,  and then by train—until weeks later, they arrived in Tatarstan. Living  in wretched poverty, Samuel’s grandmother starved to death while he and  his three younger brothers foraged for jobs and food on collective  farms. You can read Samuel’s Centropa biography and see his family pictures here.
08:56 21.12.2021
Ep. 1: Introduction: 22 June, 1941
The German invasion of the Baltics and the Soviet Union
05:33 21.12.2021