Escaping the bombing of Belgrade in WWII

Dorit Oliver-Wolff describes escaping the bombing of Belgrade in 1941, fleeing on foot and by train to Budapest. She recalls that she wasn’t aware she was Jewish, as she didn’t come from a religious family.

Storyteller: Dorit Oliver-Wolff
Date of Story: 6 April, 1941
Location of Story: Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK
Date: 29 April, 2016

Dorit Oliver-Wolff has led a remarkable life. Born a Hungarian Jew, she danced in front of the future king of Yugoslavia at just four years old; by six years old she was in hiding from the German soldiers who were rounding up and transporting her fellow Jews to concentration camps around Europe.

In her first book, From Yellow Star to Pop Star, Dorit recounts how she and her mother survived years of terror, with narrow escapes from capture and bombing raids plus betrayal by those she thought were her friends.

The Holocaust is just part of Dorit’s incredible story. After the war, stateless and without papers, she joined a touring dance group in order to be permitted to leave the country. She studied by day and sang and danced in seedy night clubs by night until her life was turned around when a talent scout spotted her and she got a record deal. Almost overnight Dorit found herself on stage singing to the very German soldiers who were a threat to her survival just a few years previously!