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Robert S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1149) interviewed by Lawrence L. Langer

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1149

Videotape testimony of Robert S., a non-Jew, who was born in Weissenstadt, Germany in 1927. He recalls being impressed by a torchlight parade for a relative who was a leader in the SA; membership in the Hitler Jugend; attending gymnasium in Wunsiedel; relatives in California wanting to adopt him; rumors of Kristallnacht (there were no Jews in his town); a teacher who was a high ranking SA member; propaganda which aroused pro-war, anti-American sentiments; emphasis on Hitler's life and greatness; his American aunt arranging for his emigration; being unable to leave after war broke out; his happiness thinking he would be a war hero; threats of incarceration in Dachau for defeatist or anti-Nazi conversations; being drafted in 1943; serving on the eastern front; observing Germans hanging from trees; the execution of his friend for not obeying an order; his profound dilemma after these events; being wounded; deserting; and returning home. Mr. S. discusses his moral outrage after learning of the Holocaust and observing the lack of remorse all around him; the hypocrisy of denazification; feeling compelled to leave Germany; attending Berkeley; the positive influence of a Jewish professor; his identity as a German; and the importance of questioning authority. He shows his Hitler Youth identification card.

Author/Creator
S., Robert, 1927-
Published
Boston, Mass. : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1989
Interview Date
April 2, 1989.
Language
English
Copies
3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Robert S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1149). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.