Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Rolf Hirschberg

Oral History | Accession Number: 1996.A.0476 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0445

Rolf Hirschberg, born in 1902 in Berlin, Germany, discusses his childhood; the death of his father when he was six and his older brother taking over the care of the household; his sickliness as a child; leaving school at age sixteen and working at the same firm that had employed his older brother; developing a friendship and then an intimate relationship with an older man named Emil; Emil's sister-in-law finding out about their relationship and urging them to see Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld; a party that they attended at Magnus Hirschfeld's house; Hitler's rise to power in Germany in 1933 and the beginnings of persecution against homosexuals and Jews; his and Emil's decision to leave the country in 1936; their journey through Europe until they immigrated to the United States in 1937; arranging through a rabbi to have his mother hidden in a nursing home for the elderly; finding an apartment and settling in New York City; his Jewish upbringing and his awareness of antisemitism in Germany; a meeting with a high-school friend who had joined the Nazi Party; his memories of homosexual bars in Berlin during the 1930s; and the fates of family members and other homosexual friends in Germany.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Rolf Hirschberg
Klaus Müller
interview:  1996 October 14
Oral histories.
2 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Record last modified: 2021-02-16 15:51:41
This page: