Helga E. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3428) interviewed by Eva Lezzi and Barbara Krahé
- Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 1996
- Interview Date
- April 17, 1996.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Helga E. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3428). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Helga E., who was born in Braunschweig, Germany in 1923, the only child of a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father. She recalls her father was a published, well-known photographer; enjoying evangelical Christian classes in school; consciousness of her Jewish identity beginning in 1933; antisemitic incidents in school; disappointment at being prohibited from participating in Nazi youth groups; her father's refusal to help her mother's brother; notification of his death after Kristallnacht; expulsion from several schools; difficulty obtaining a job; working at age fifteen in a food factory; becoming ill; a physician, who was a family friend, providing her an exemption from work; Allied bombings; fleeing with her mother to Wahrenholz; her father joining them; posing as Germans who had been “bombed out” (no one suspected they were Jewish); hiding in their vacation home; liberation by United States troops; a brief marriage; her daughter's birth; and living with her parents until 1975. Ms. E. discusses her mother's constant fear during the war; fear of separation from her parents due to her experiences; missing her education; kind treatment after the war by some who had persecuted her under the Nazis; present-day antisemitism; and preferring not to discuss the war years.