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Herman W. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2046) interviewed by Joni-Sue Blinderman

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2046

Videotape testimony of Herman W., who was born in Cologne, Germany in 1919. He recalls attending Jewish and Catholic schools; expulsion from school in 1935 due to anti-Jewish laws; participation in Jewish athletic organizations; his employer's arrest on Kristallnacht; illegally entering Holland with a friend in December; traveling to Amsterdam with assistance from a Jewish organization; imprisonment through August; kindness from Dutch locals; transfer to Hellevoetsluis, Hoek van Holland, then Westerbork in February 1940; German invasion; evacuation to Leeuwarden; return to Westerbork; transition of the camp's administration to the SS in 1942; weekly deportations to Auschwitz; building new barracks; assignment as a firefighter which exempted him from deportation; meeting his future wife; the arrival of two of his brothers in 1943; arranging for their deportation to Theresienstadt rather than Auschwitz (one survived); liberation by British and Canadian troops in April 1945; moving to Amsterdam; marriage in 1946; and emigration to the United States in 1947. Mr. W. discusses his mother's deportation and death (his father survived in hiding) and testifying, despite his reluctance to discuss his experience, so that people will learn about this period. He shows photographs and documents.

Author/Creator
W., Herman, 1919-
Published
New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1992
Interview Date
May 28, 1992.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Herman W. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2046). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.