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Elsa and Kurt S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2261) interviewed by Rivie Zeiler,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2261

Videotape testimony of Elsa and Kurt S. Kurt S. was born in Munich, Germany in 1917. He recalls being first in his class, but not matriculating due to anti-Jewish laws; confiscation of the family business; his father's death in 1936; his deportation to Dachau on Kristallnacht; release contingent upon his emigration; Hechalutz arranging his emigration to the Netherlands; working on a farm; and marriage in 1941. Elsa S. was born in Heidelberg in 1921. She recounts her family's move to Ludwigshafen in 1925; expulsion from school; preparing to emigrate to Israel with Hechalutz; meeting her future husband in the group; and following him to the Netherlands. They recall a round-up on the group farm; Ms. S. being sent to Amsterdam; Mr. S. remaining to continue farming; arranging for Ms. S. to join him; warning from the Dutch police of imminent round-ups; hiding with a non-Jewish woman in Deventer for eighteen months; working for the underground forging ration coupons; obtaining false papers; traveling to Paris, then Toulouse, and connecting with the French underground.

They tell of escaping over the Pyrenees into Spain; assistance from the Joint in Barcelona; learning Mr. S.'s mother committed suicide when the Nazis came for her; reunion after the war with Ms. S.'s brother (he had been in England); emigration to join Mr. S.'s sister in the United States; and the births of two sons. Ms. S. discusses learning her parents had been deported to Gurs, then Auschwitz, and not feeling safe until they left Europe in 1945. Mr. S. notes the importance to his survival of being with his wife. They show photographs.

S., Elsa, 1921-
Mahwah, N.J. : Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 1991
Interview Date
June 19, 1991.
Munich (Germany)
Heidelberg (Germany)
Ludwigshafen am Rhein (Germany)
Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Deventer (Netherlands)
Paris (France)
Toulouse (France)
Barcelona (Spain)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Elsa and Kurt S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2261). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.