|Heinrich Wasservogel (Henry Wells):
|Born in Vienna, Austria February 3, 1918
Deceased in Fort Myer’s, FL May 16, 2006
|Alice Wells nee Hacker:
Children: Allen, Vicki
Grandchildren: Anna Wade; Emily Wells; David Wells; Erik Laub; Jack Laub.
Heinrich grew up in Vienna’s Second District, in a family of five. His father was a painter who restored old Masters and did portraits, and his mother was a homemaker. Heinrich received a trade school education, and was apprenticed as a typesetter. He lost his job after the Anschluss, and was beaten by fascist thugs during a demonstration. Fleeing to Switzerland, which he entered illegally, he was apprehended and then placed in a number of Jewish relief camps. This was then followed by placement in Swiss canton work camps where he dug ditches, laid pipe, and constructed barracks for 18 months.
It was during his time at the work camps that he was interviewed by Solomon Trone, the DORSA’s representative in search of Jewish refugees. Heinrich was selected to be in the first Swiss group that came to Sosúa in September 1940. This group traveled from Switzerland through France, Spain and on to Lisbon, Portugal. From Lisbon, the refugees sailed on the Nea Hellis with 17 other future Sosúaners. They went to Ellis Island (New York) first, and stayed there for a week before taking the Coamo to San Juan and then Ciudad Trujillo.
Once in Sosúa, Heinrich worked with the Wohlmuth/Schlesinger group. He eventually moved to the Batey, where he worked in DORSA’s woodworking shop. Later on he drove vehicles for DORSA.
Heinrich moved to New York City in 1947. It was here that he met and married Alice Hacker, and had two children. He worked as a cabinetmaker, eventually opening his own shop and business, and made custom-built furniture. Later on he moved to Long Island. In 1978 Henry and Alice moved to Florida, where they lived until Henry passed away in 2006.
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