Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date



Copyright Steve Hochstadt. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: Steve Hochstadt, c/o The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.

Scope and Content Note

Susan Westheimer (neé Salomon) was born in Berlin in 1922 and lived in Neukölln. Her mother owned a small business in Berlin. Her married sister sailed to Shanghai first, then Westheimer and her mother took the Trans-Siberian Railroad across Asia in March 1940, and sailed from Manchuria to Shanghai. The day after she arrived, she began work as a waitress in the Café Windsor. She got married soon thereafter to another refugee. Later she worked as an assistant to a Chinese doctor, until she and her family were forced into the Designated Area in 1943. During the ghetto years they ran a Mittagstisch for other refugees. After the war's end she worked for the U.S. Army in a PX, then went back to waitressing. In 1948, after getting a divorce, she sailed to the United States with her mother. After living in Chicago and New York, Susan Westheimer got remarried and moved to California. She died on April 22, 1995.