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Ralph A. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2416) interviewed by Henry M. Strage and Jane Barclay

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2416

Videotape testimony of Ralph A., who was born in Essen, Germany in 1927 and raised in Recklinghausen. He recalls cordial relations with non-Jews; attending a Jewish elementary school; antisemitic harassment in the German high school; arrest of his father and uncle and vandalizing of their home on Kristallnacht; confiscation of their business; release of his father and uncle ten days later; his uncle's emigration to Palestine; anti-Jewish restrictions; attending a Jewish school in Cologne; his bar mitzvah in 1940; deportation with his family to the Rīga ghetto in 1942; his transfer to Kaiserwald (he never saw his parents again); slave labor; his uncle and aunt arranging his transfer to join them and his cousin; shooting of his uncle; transfer with his aunt and cousin to Stutthof; separation from his cousin (he never saw him again); transfer to Buchenwald, then Bochum; slave labor in a Krupp munitions factory and a quarry; return to Buchenwald nine months later; a Dutch prisoner hiding him in the Dutch block when Jews were being killed; transfer to Theresienstadt; liberation by Soviet troops; recuperating until June; returning home with assistance from Soviet and United States troops; futile attempts to reclaim family property; one aunt's return; assistance from the Joint; illegal emigration to Palestine; reunion with his uncle; joining the Haganah; seven years of military service; his aunt obtaining reparation payments for his education; emigration to England in 1955; completing polytechnic studies; marriage in 1963; and the births of two children. Mr. A. discusses his belief that almost all Germans knew what was happening to the Jews; the critical opinion of survivors expressed by most Israelis while he was there; and attending a survivors' meeting in Israel in 1981. He shows photographs and documents.

Author/Creator
A., Ralph, 1927-
Published
London, England : British Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
October 2, 1993.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Ralph A. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2416). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.