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The Immigration Story of Ben Schlesinger (German Refugee)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

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Date of Arrival: 
December 24 1941
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Arrived December 24, 1941
From: Lisbon, Portugal
Ship: SS Excambiun (American Export Lines)
December 12, 1941 to Bermuda
Ship: Lady Rodney from Bermuda to Halifax
Arriving December 24, 1941

June 22, 2007

I had been living in Lisbon, Portugal, with my mother and younger brother, in 1941. We were regugees from Nazi Germany. Our travels began in Berlin, in November, 1939. Our journey took us from Germany to Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal. We were Jewish refugees and I was 13 years old when we lived in Lisbon. My mother was able to obtain three Canadian permits from the Polish government in exile.

The Jewish Agency gave us boat tickets, and we boarded SS. Excambiun (American Export Lines), in Lisbon, on December 12, 1941, going to Bermuda. We changed ships there, and sailed on Lady Rodney to Halifax, arriving on December 24, 1941. I remember that we had a good trip, and I visited the large gun at the end of the ship. I had the run of the ship. It was quite cold when we arrived on Pier 21. It was also good to land in Canada after all the difficult times in Europe.

Ben Schlesinger
June, 2007