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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMORISTS:                      ALICE SHERR

             SAUL SHERR


                                              RUTH EINSTEIN

LOCATION:                            ATLANTA, GEORGIA

DATE:                                  MARCH 28, 2001

Transcript (PDF)


Alice Sherr (née Bacharach) was born in Egelsbach, Hesse, Germany.  As the Nazi party rose to power the family relocated to nearby Frankfurt.  During Kristalnacht their apartment was invaded and her father taken to a concentration camp, probably Dachau.  After his release her parents sent Alice to a children’s home in Hieden Switzerland.  She would spend the duration of World War II in Switzerland.  Eventually she immigrated to America, arriving in New York where she had relatives.  After some difficulty with her uncles, Alice relocated to Atlanta.  She lived with a number of families while attending school on a Distributed Education program.  She eventually met and married Saul Sherr, with whom she had three sons.  Alice eventually became involved with a number of organization in the community, such as Morningside Day Out, Cliff Valley School, and advocacy for mental health rights and research.

Saul Sherr was born in Chusziachin, now Szczuczyn, Poland.  His family left Poland in 1937 and first settled in Pittsburgh, where he became a bar mitzvah, before moving to Atlanta, where they ran a store which he worked at.  He met Alice outside the library and offered to give her a lift in the car, which is where he got her phone number and that eventually led to marriage and three children.  He later became active in the Muscular Dystrophy Organization and The National Association for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, helping promote research and better integration of people suffering from diseases into society.

Scope of Interview:

The interview opens with Alice recounting her early childhood in Germany, in the Greater Frankfurt area.  She remembers school and her family working.  She also recalls attacks and vandalism increasing, which ultimately lead to the family relocating to an apartment in Frankfurt.  While living there Alice tells of the events of Kristallnacht, seeing buildings set aflame, demolished, people being attacked, the family’s apartment being broken into, and her father being taken to a concentration camp, presumably Dachau.  Upon his release she recounts not recognizing her father, and her family decided to send her to a children’s home in Switzerland.  Alice discusses life in Switzerland, the rationing, the difficulties adjusting to living there, the infrequent contact with family, and lack of news on the outside world.  The then goes on to explain her coming to America, and how she came to leave New York City for Atlanta.

Saul explains how his family left Poland shortly before the war began and first settled in Pittsburgh.  After spending some time there, they moved to Atlanta and opened a shop.  He talks about helping run the shop and how he met Alice and convinced her to marry him.


Sherr, Alice

Sherr, Saul






Concentration Camp



Childrens home




Ruth Westheimer


New York City



Druid Hills

Hoke Smith

Distributed Education

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Welfare Fund

Cohen, Judy

Hirsch, Jacquie

Hirsch, Benjamin

Fink, Gertrude

Alexander family

Shearith Isreal

Ahavath Achim

New World Club




Silverboard, Evelyn

Iteld, Julius


Grady High School

Family estrangement

Muscular Distrophy

Mental Illness Advocacy

National Association for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression

Morningside Day Out

Cliff Valley School





World War II


The two then talk about their marriage, family, and what they have done to stay busy in old age.  They discuss their volunteer work and their activism on behalf of mental illness and muscular dystrophy.

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