Join The FHM and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center for a lunch and learn live stream with Holocaust Survivor, Doris Warschawski Fogel on December 9 at 12 PM EST/ 11 AM CST.
Doris Warschawski Fogel was born in 1934 in Berlin. Her father died when she was young, and a neighboring family took Doris and her mother Edith under their wing. With the help of the Basch family, they sailed to Shanghai in January 1939. There, Doris, Edith, and the three members of Basch family shared one room in a Heim in the ghetto.
“We were luckier than most…. We cooked our meals on coal stoves, all within the confines of the one-room where we lived.”
Though Edith had a university degree, she worked in a soup kitchen, while Mrs. Basch sewed clothes. Doris attended the Kadoorie School, where she studied English, French, and German, and she learned Chinese and Japanese from children on the street.
“The day we left for America, I could have sworn to you that my bed was going to walk out on its own because it was so loaded with cockroaches…. There was no such thing as indoor plumbing…. Malaria, typhus—I was very ill. I came down with what we later found out was rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 10.”
Due to the conditions of the ghetto, Doris weighed 68 pounds at the age of 13 when she left for San Francisco, and she had to relearn how to walk. The Basch family helped Doris and Edith obtain sponsorship to come with them to Peoria, Illinois. Doris started 8th grade, took pride in adopting an American accent, and became a citizen in 1952. Doris served as the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, then moved to the Chicago area to be with her children and grandchildren.