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Margit Diamond

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Age: 88

Birthdate: December 2, 1927

Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Religious Identity: Jewish

 

“My mother found out about the Kindertransports, which took children to safety. In May of 1939 she put me on a Kindertransport to England. I had just turned 11.”

 

Margit Diamond enjoyed a carefree childhood with no discrimination until Hitler’s accession to power in 1933. Then the situation of German Jewry steadily deteriorated, culminating in Kristallnacht, the infamous night of November 9th – 10th, 1938. It was that event which convinced Margit’s mgother to secure a place for her on a Kindertransport to England. So Margit’s recently widowed mother sent her only child into the unknown in May of 1939, not knowing whether they would ever see each other again. In England, Margit was taken in by the principal of an elite boarding school. Fortunately, her mother managed to get out of Germany to Ireland on a domestic servant visa, only a few days before the outbreak of war. Upon high school graduation, Margit worked her way through London University and traveled extensively around Europe and the Middle East. Being multilingual, she found good jobs everywhere she went. One such job was in the south of France, where she prepared North African Jews for their prospective new life in Israel. Eventually she, too, went to Israel, where she documented how the new country was progressing. In 1954, Margit and her mother immigrated to the U.S., where Margit’s aunt was living after surviving the war years in Shanghai, China. Margit lived with friends in New York, got a job with the Israel Government Tourist Office, and bought a 1939 Dodge for $80! She met her late husband, Irwin, in New York. They had two children, whom they raised in Illinois. After Irwin’s death in 1990, Margit eventually moved to Pittsburgh to be closer to her children and three grandchildren.

 

“My grandchildren are my pride and joy. The oldest, Amitte, is 25 and a Med Student at Yale; the next one, Elan, just graduated with honors from CMU; the youngest, Maia, will be going to Brown University in the fall. I am close with all three of them.”