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Arno S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3403) interviewed by Edgar Pankow and Sieglind Schroder,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3403

Videotape testimony of Arno S., who was born in Berlin in 1920, the youngest of four children. He recalls moving to a village where his father built a chemical factory; learning in 1932 that his father was Jewish (his mother was not); seeing a boycott of Jewish stores in 1933; attending gymnasium in Eberswald; his brother beating a student who made antisemitic remarks to them; his close relationship with his Latin teacher; his father moving to Vienna where he had a girlfriend; observing antisemitic signs while on a bicycle trip with his sister in 1935; auctioning their house in 1937 when they could no longer pay for it; realizing the Nuremberg laws prevented him from having a German girlfriend; working briefly as an engineer after graduation; his father's emigration to the United States; volunteering for a work camp hoping it would allow his admission to university; not knowing if anyone knew his father was Jewish; becoming a soldier in spring 1939; posting to Pillau (presently Baltiĭsk), then Ålborg for nine months; transfer to Greece; discomfort with civilian starvation the winter of 1941-1942; serving as an airplane navigator, then as a paratrooper near St. Petersburg (he was one of very few survivors); tank training in Bergen; promotion to lieutenant; return to the Soviet Union; being wounded; capture by United States troops; incarceration as a prisoner of war in Wörgl; escape and recapture; escaping from Kufstein; returning to his troops; reunion with his brother in Hamburg and his mother in Bad Ferienwalde after the war; recovering family valuables he had buried; emigrating to join his father in the U.S.; his mother and siblings joining him; attending school in Switzerland; and returning to Germany. Mr. S. notes not discussing Jews during the war; observing starving Jewish women from a train passing through Lithuania and concentration camp prisoners near the Austrian border; his sense of identity as a German, not a Jew; and his strong anti-Zionism.

S., Arno, 1920-
Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 1995
Interview Date
August 4, 1995.
Berlin (Germany)
Eberswalde (Germany)
Baltiĭsk (Russia)
Ålborg (Denmark)
Bergen (Germany)
Hamburg (Germany)
Bad Freienwalde (Germany)
Wörgl (Austria)
Kufstein (Austria)
United States
2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Arno S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3403). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.