The Kindness of Strangers: Survival in Linz, London and Shanghai

The story of Greta Taussig and Rudy Gans, as shared by their son Bob Gans, is a poignant tale of survival, resilience, and the enduring human spirit. Presented as part of the UC San Diego Holocaust Living History Workshop, their experiences offer profound insights into the trials of persecution and exile during one of history’s darkest periods. Born in Linz, Austria, Greta and Rudy’s paths diverged and converged in ways that highlight the unpredictable nature of survival.

Greta’s journey began in Linz, a city that became entangled in the horrors of the Third Reich. She emigrated to London to escape the encroaching Nazi threat, only to endure the relentless bombings of the Blitz. Despite the constant danger, Greta’s story is marked by the courage and kindness of strangers who helped her navigate these perilous times. Rudy’s path, on the other hand, led him through the notorious Dachau concentration camp. His eventual escape to Shanghai is a testament to his resilience and the life-saving bravery of those who aided him.

Throughout their ordeals, both Greta and Rudy encountered individuals who displayed extraordinary acts of compassion. These moments of kindness were pivotal for their survival and serve as powerful reminders of humanity’s capacity for goodness even in the darkest times. Bob Gans’s presentation goes beyond recounting these events; it serves as a call to action, urging viewers to stand against injustice and support those in need, mirroring the assistance his parents received. In sharing this story, Bob Gans imparts a timeless message of hope, courage, and the enduring strength of the human spirit.

Watch The Kindness of Strangers: Survival in Linz, London and Shanghai.