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Gunter N. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3431) interviewed by Irene Diekmann and Eva Lezzi

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3431

Videotape testimony of Gunter N., who was born in Filehne, Germany (presently Weiluń, Poland) in 1913 and raised in Schneidemühl (Piła, Poland) and Berlin. He recalls his family's distinguished rabbinical lineage; attending gymnasium and university; antisemitic violence; participation in leftist organizations (SAJ, SPD, SAP); marriage in 1934; expulsion from university; continuing illegal political activities; arrest with his wife; imprisonment in Moabit and Brandenburg; restrictions on Jewish prisoners after Kristallnacht; meeting Bruno Baum; their release contingent upon leaving Germany; emigration to Shanghai (his parents were in Palestine and one brother in the United States); support from the Joint; ghettoization after Japanese invasion; cordial relations with the Chinese (they saved their lives); forming an illegal leftist group; arrest in 1945 for leaving the ghetto without an ID; one week imprisonment; and returning to Germany after the war because of correspondence from Baum and leftist ideals. Mr. N. discusses life in former East Germany; prohibition of contacts with the west (his parents and brothers); visits from his brothers, one of which resulted in punishment; adopting a daughter; recently visiting Israel and his parents' graves in Jerusalem; and identifying with Jewish culture, not religion, despite postwar antisemitism. He shows photographs, documents, and artifacts.

Author/Creator
N., Gunter, 1913-
Published
Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europaïsch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 1996
Interview Date
May 2, 1996.
Language
German
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Gunter N. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3431). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.