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Passport to Freedom
My Grandfather Paul Talalay’s Escape from the Nazis in Berlin with a
Haitian Passport
By Miriam J. Tal...
Preface
Paul Talalay is my grandfather. He is 92 and he has spent his
career as a physician and researcher.
Many people kn...
Paul Talalay was born
on March 31, 1923 in
Berlin, Germany. His
parents were Joseph
and Sophie from
Belarus.
(Image: oil p...
Paul had three brothers named Naum,
Anselm, and Leo. Paul was the
youngest son and was the only child
born in Berlin.
His ...
After World War I ended in 1918, Jewish people in Russia
endured very difficult times. In August 1919, Jewish
properties, ...
After they moved to Riga, Latvia, Joseph’s
job took them Berlin, Germany.
Passport	
  To	
  Freedom,	
  Miriam	
  Talalay	...
Joseph was an engineer and inventor.
He invented a type of putty used to clean
typewriters (NORTA), and other inventions a...
At first, Paul and his family lived in a part of Berlin called Treptow.
Joseph and Sophie did not send Paul to school beca...
His first teacher was named Herr Lange and he was very cruel to all of the children.
He asked Paul to recite the German Na...
Then, Herr Lange insisted Paul hire a math tutor, even though Paul’s brother
was studying physics at the local university ...
His family began to notice swastikas everywhere. Many people started dressing in
the khaki uniforms of the Hitler youth an...
In 1929, something extraordinary happened for Paul and his family.
His father learned that his family could purchase passp...
Paul and his whole family received their Haitian passports.
These passports were the only way they could travel out of Ger...
Passport	
  To	
  Freedom,	
  Miriam	
  Talalay	
   14	
  4/1/15	
  
Passport	
  To	
  Freedom,	
  Miriam	
  Talalay	
   15	
  4/1/15	
  
Passport	
  To	
  Freedom,	
  Miriam	
  Talalay	
   16	
  4/1/15	
  
Passport	
  To	
  Freedom,	
  Miriam	
  Talalay	
   17	
  4/1/15	
  
The situation was quickly getting worse in Germany. Adolf Hitler
acquired more power by becoming chancellor of Nazi German...
Although the world outside their apartment was becoming more and more
frightening, Paul was still a child who had homework...
They didn't tell anyone about their plans to leave. They took only the clothing
they were wearing and some books. They did...
Anhalter	
  Bahnhoff	
  ,	
  Train	
  staCon	
  -­‐	
  Berlin	
  
Passport	
  To	
  Freedom,	
  Miriam	
  Talalay	
   21	
 ...
The train left Berlin and continued to Belgium; the journey took about nine
hours. All trains always stopped at the countr...
March 31, 1933 was Paul's 10th birthday.
On April 1, 1933, Hitler ordered a boycott of Jewish shops, banks, offices and
de...
Joseph and Sophie went to the Haitian Consulate in 1939 to renew their
passports so they could travel to the United States...
On June 29, 1940, Paul, Leo, Josef, and Sophie took the SS Samaria from
Liverpool, England, to New York.
It was a 10-day j...
On June 29, 1940, Paul, Leo, Joseph, and Sophie took the SS Samaria from
Liverpool, England, to New York.
It was a 10-day ...
One boat in their convoy was torpedoed during the journey and sank. In fact,
German U-boats torpedoed several ships the da...
Paul went to the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and then to medical school at the
University of Chicago and Yale Un...
Paul Talalay still researches broccoli (sulforaphane) at Johns Hopkins University.
Passport	
  To	
  Freedom,	
  Miriam	
 ...
Acknowledgments
Thank you for reading my book.
I want to thank the Haitian Consulates in Berlin and London (especially Mr....
Passport	
  To	
  Freedom,	
  Miriam	
  Talalay	
   31	
  4/1/15	
  
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Passport to freedom - The Story of Paul Talalay's Escape from Nazi-Held Berlin

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Paul Talalay is my grandfather. He is 92 and he has spent his career as a physician and researcher.

Many people know him because of his broccoli research. He discovered the part of broccoli (sulforaphane) that can help prevent cancer and other diseases. He also recently discovered that it might even help children with autism.

But most people don’t know this story.

I am writing about this part of his history because I think many people would like to know about his life in Berlin and his escape from the Nazis in World War II using a Haitian passport.

I love my grandfather and I am glad we spent time together talking about his life as a young boy. The day he escaped from Berlin, he turned 10, which is the same age as I am now.
Miriam Talalay
2015

Published in: Education

Passport to freedom - The Story of Paul Talalay's Escape from Nazi-Held Berlin

  1. 1. Passport to Freedom My Grandfather Paul Talalay’s Escape from the Nazis in Berlin with a Haitian Passport By Miriam J. Talalay
  2. 2. Preface Paul Talalay is my grandfather. He is 92 and he has spent his career as a physician and researcher. Many people know him because of his broccoli research. He discovered the part of broccoli (sulforaphane) that can help prevent cancer and other diseases. He also recently discovered that it might even help children with autism. But most people don’t know this story. I am writing about this part of his history because I think many people would like to know about his life in Berlin and his escape from the Nazis in World War II using a Haitian passport. I love my grandfather and I am glad we spent time together talking about his life as a young boy. The day he escaped from Berlin, he turned 10, which is the same age as I am now. Miriam Talalay 2015 4/1/15   Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   2  
  3. 3. Paul Talalay was born on March 31, 1923 in Berlin, Germany. His parents were Joseph and Sophie from Belarus. (Image: oil painting of Paul Talalay approximately age 4) Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   3  4/1/15  
  4. 4. Paul had three brothers named Naum, Anselm, and Leo. Paul was the youngest son and was the only child born in Berlin. His parents had left Russia with his three older brothers in 1920 after the Russian Revolution in 1917. (Image – original passport document; Paul’s photo is in the lower right.) Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   4  4/1/15  
  5. 5. After World War I ended in 1918, Jewish people in Russia endured very difficult times. In August 1919, Jewish properties, including synagogues, were seized and many Jewish communities disappeared. (Source: World Heritage Encyclopedia website) Paul's father was offered a position at the university in St. Petersburg, Russia, but only if he agreed to be baptized in the Russian Orthodox faith. Joseph decided it was time to leave Russia and he was able to find work in Riga, Latvia with a rubber manufacturer. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   5  4/1/15  
  6. 6. After they moved to Riga, Latvia, Joseph’s job took them Berlin, Germany. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   6  4/1/15  
  7. 7. Joseph was an engineer and inventor. He invented a type of putty used to clean typewriters (NORTA), and other inventions as well. Later in life, he and Anselm would invent a process and receive a patent for making rubber latex for mattresses, which is still in use today.   7  4/1/15   Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay  
  8. 8. At first, Paul and his family lived in a part of Berlin called Treptow. Joseph and Sophie did not send Paul to school because they feared he would suffer from antisemitism, which means that people treat Jews poorly. He was tutored at home. They moved again, and Paul enrolled in school at the age of 8 in Friedenau, Berlin. It was the first time he had ever attended school with other children. He had always had tutors and had rarely played with children his age. His first teacher was named Herr Lange and he was very cruel to all of the children. He asked Paul to recite the German National Anthem and Paul didn't know it. His teacher hit him and then made him go home and write 'I am lazy' (ich bin faul) 100 times. Joseph refused to sign the paper because he did not agree with the teacher. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   8  4/1/15  
  9. 9. His first teacher was named Herr Lange and he was very cruel to all of the children. He asked Paul to recite the German National Anthem and Paul didn’t know it. His teacher hit him and then made him go home and write ‘I am lazy’ (ich bin faul) 100 times. Joseph refused to sign the paper; he did not agree with the teacher. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   9  4/1/15  
  10. 10. Then, Herr Lange insisted Paul hire a math tutor, even though Paul’s brother was studying physics at the local university and the whole family was very good at math. This tutor was his teacher’s girlfriend! Joseph was forced to pay her to teach his son. The worst part is that she had a swastika lapel pin which means she supported the Nazis. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   10  4/1/15  
  11. 11. His family began to notice swastikas everywhere. Many people started dressing in the khaki uniforms of the Hitler youth and other Nazi groups. Joseph had the same feeling he had when he left Russia; Jewish people were in immediate danger. He had to find a way to obtain travel documents for his family to leave Germany so they would be safe. The Talalays had their Latvian passports, but the Latvian consul refused to renew them. They had very few options to get the travel documents they needed to leave. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   11  4/1/15  
  12. 12. In 1929, something extraordinary happened for Paul and his family. His father learned that his family could purchase passports from some South and Central American countries if they purchased land. (Author's note: This land purchase was really just a way to get passports. There is no record of a land purchase in Haiti for Paul and his family.) They purchased the Haitian passports for 10,000 Deutsche Marks which is about $135,493 in US Dollars in 2014. It was very expensive and Paul did not know where his family got the money for this purchase, but it saved their lives. (Source: http://www.jdc.org/jdc-field-blog/2010/from-the-archives-haiti.html) Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   12  4/1/15  
  13. 13. Paul and his whole family received their Haitian passports. These passports were the only way they could travel out of Germany; it was still very risky. During this time, a few hundred Jews obtained Haitian passports. Some moved to Haiti and others just used the passports as travel documents to escape persecution in Europe. Other Jews purchased passports from other Latin American countries and were also able to leave Germany. (Source: http://www.jdc.org/jdc-field-blog/2010/from-the-archives-haiti.html) Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   13  4/1/15  
  14. 14. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   14  4/1/15  
  15. 15. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   15  4/1/15  
  16. 16. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   16  4/1/15  
  17. 17. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   17  4/1/15  
  18. 18. The situation was quickly getting worse in Germany. Adolf Hitler acquired more power by becoming chancellor of Nazi Germany in January 1933. On March 20, SS Chief Heinrich Himmler announced the establishment of Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp. The camp will receive its first inmates, political prisoners, within the next few days. (Source: http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/ ww2time.htm) Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   18  4/1/15  
  19. 19. Although the world outside their apartment was becoming more and more frightening, Paul was still a child who had homework and chores. Paul's daily chore was to wash the dinner dishes. He didn't mind doing the dishes but his brother Leo was supposed to help him dry them. Leo would spend 30 minutes drying one spoon just to annoy Paul. Paul would snatch the spoon from Leo's hand and tell him to go do something else, which was exactly what Leo wanted! One evening, Paul's father told him to leave the dirty dishes in the sink. Paul was very surprised because he had never been able to skip his chores before. That night, Joseph told Paul that they would never see those dishes again. They were leaving Germany forever. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   19  4/1/15  
  20. 20. They didn't tell anyone about their plans to leave. They took only the clothing they were wearing and some books. They didn't want to draw any attention to themselves by carrying suitcases. It was illegal to have foreign currency, but they had English pounds anyway. They stuffed money into the soles of their shoes and sewed some into their clothing. On the evening of March 30, 1933, Paul, parents, and his brothers Anselm and Leo took an 8 pm train from Anhalter train station in Berlin to Brussels, Belgium. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   20  4/1/15  
  21. 21. Anhalter  Bahnhoff  ,  Train  staCon  -­‐  Berlin   Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   21   This was the main train station in Berlin. This train station was destroyed in World War II. 4/1/15  
  22. 22. The train left Berlin and continued to Belgium; the journey took about nine hours. All trains always stopped at the country borders so guards could inspect passports and visas of all of the passengers. The German guard looked at their Haitian passports. It was a very frightening moment in their journey. They could see Belgium from the windows of the train. But the train was still in Germany. Instead of the guard stating that they did not look as though they were from Haiti, the guard simply said, "One doesn't see one of these every day." He let them go through to Belgium. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   22  4/1/15  
  23. 23. March 31, 1933 was Paul's 10th birthday. On April 1, 1933, Hitler ordered a boycott of Jewish shops, banks, offices and department stores. Joseph had been right about getting out of Germany quickly. Many Jews were not able to escape, especially after World War II started in 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland. It became harder and harder to emigrate out of Germany. The Talalays saw other Jewish people in Brussels who had just left Berlin. Some had been badly beaten, but were very grateful to be alive and out of Germany. Paul and his family stayed in Brussels for a short time and then moved to England. He attended the Bedford School, an all-boys boarding school, where he learned to speak English. He was happy to attend a school where he was accepted by his classmates. But, the world was in turmoil and on the brink of World War II. 23  4/1/15   Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay  
  24. 24. Joseph and Sophie went to the Haitian Consulate in 1939 to renew their passports so they could travel to the United States. Once again, they feared for their family's safety. Would they ever find a safe haven for their family? They met a man named Mr. Haines who worked for the Haitian embassy in London. He said that the Nazis had realized that many Jewish people had fraudulent passports and had sent a letter prohibiting these passports from being renewed. He renewed their passports anyway. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   24  4/1/15  
  25. 25. On June 29, 1940, Paul, Leo, Josef, and Sophie took the SS Samaria from Liverpool, England, to New York. It was a 10-day journey across the Atlantic. Because World War II had started the previous year, ships traveled in convoys and zigzagged across the ocean to avoid German mines, U-boats (submarines), and aircraft. One boat in their convoy was torpedoed during the journey and sank. In fact, German U-boats torpedoed several ships the days before and after their ship left Liverpool. During the entire journey, passengers were ‘blacked out’ on the ship meaning they couldn’t go out on the deck after dark or light a match in case enemy patrols would see them. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   25  4/1/15  
  26. 26. On June 29, 1940, Paul, Leo, Joseph, and Sophie took the SS Samaria from Liverpool, England, to New York. It was a 10-day journey across the Atlantic. Because World War II had started the previous year, ships traveled in convoys and zigzagged across the ocean to avoid German mines, U-boats (submarines), and aircraft. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   26   This is the original SS Samara Passenger List 4/1/15  
  27. 27. One boat in their convoy was torpedoed during the journey and sank. In fact, German U-boats torpedoed several ships the days before and after their ship left Liverpool. During the entire journey, passengers were 'blacked out' on the ship meaning they couldn't go out on the deck after dark or light a match so enemy patrols wouldn't see them. They arrived safely in New York. Would this finally be their new home? Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   27  4/1/15  
  28. 28. Paul went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then to medical school at the University of Chicago and Yale University. He still researches broccoli at Johns Hopkins University. He took the Queen Mary to England in 1952 to return to England to study at Cambridge. Paul met his wife Pamela at Cambridge. Paul and Pamela had four children. (Author's note: My dad Antony is their son.) Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   28  4/1/15  
  29. 29. Paul Talalay still researches broccoli (sulforaphane) at Johns Hopkins University. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   29  4/1/15  
  30. 30. Acknowledgments Thank you for reading my book. I want to thank the Haitian Consulates in Berlin and London (especially Mr. Haines) for saving many Jewish lives in World War II. Without their help, my grandfather would not have escaped from Germany and go on to make amazing discoveries about broccoli. Thanks to my grandfather for sharing his story with me. Thanks to my mom and dad for helping me write this book and find photos, ship manifests, and other images for this book. xo, Miriam "Anselm Talalay, 82, Inventor and Official." New York Times [New York] 24 June 1994, sec. US: n. pag. New York Times. Web. 7 Feb. 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/24/obituaries/anselm-talalay-82-inventor-and- official.html>. "From the Archives: Haiti Helped Holocaust Refugees." Joint Distribution Company. Joint Distribution Company, n.d. Web. 7 Feb. 2015. <http://www.jdc.org/jdc-field-blog/2010/from-the-archives-haiti.html>. Talalay, Paul. Interview by Miriam Josephine Talalay. 25 Jan. 2015. "Wolf pack." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2015. <http:// www.britannica.com/>. World War Two in Europe. The History Place. History Place, n.d. Web. 7 Feb. 2015. <http://www.historyplace.com/ worldwar2/timeline/ww2time.htm>. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   30  4/1/15  
  31. 31. Passport  To  Freedom,  Miriam  Talalay   31  4/1/15  

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