Helga H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4454) interviewed by Nina Taus and Shelly Jubelirer,
Videotape testimony of Helga H., who was born in Cologne, Germany in 1924, the elder of two sisters. She recalls her father's strong German identity (he was a World War I veteran); their assimilated lifestyle; attending a public school; participating in Catholic prayers and Christmas shows; friends snubbing her with the rise of Nazism; harassment in middle school (she was the only Jew); increasingly restrictive anti-Jewish laws including reduced rations for Jews; observing vandalism, theft (including at her family's store), and burning synagogues on November 9, 1938; learning her uncle had been deported to Dachau; these events convincing her father to emigrate; an uncle in Switzerland sponsoring them; futile attempts to obtain documents from any place in the world; her parents' non-Jewish friends providing them with extra food; working to help support her family; Nazis and SS taking their possessions at will; obtaining documents in Stuttgart in 1941 to emigrate to the United States; traveling to Berlin, Paris, then Barcelona; embarkation on a ship sponsored by the Jewish Agency; a two-week delay in the Canary Islands while additional funds were raised before they could continue; joining her uncle in New York (he had escaped from Dachau and emigrated); working to help support her family; and marriage to a Jew from Cologne who had been hidden in the Netherlands. Ms. H. discusses pervasive fear while waiting to emigrate; family and Jewish friends who remained in Germany “disappearing”; a trip to Cologne with her sister at the invitation of the city in 1970; feeling lucky that she and her immediate family survived; and a book that she received from the city government documenting the fates of Cologne Jews.
- Milwaukee, Wis. : Generation After of Milwaukee, 1995
- Interview Date
- April 5, 1995.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Helga H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4454). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.