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Werner A. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3718) interviewed by Andrés José Nader and Eva Lezzi

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3718

Videotape testimony of Werner A., who was born in Berlin, Germany in 1920, the oldest of three sons. He recounts his family's assimilated lifestyle; observing Friday night sabbath, Passover, Easter and Christmas; his strong German identification; antisemitic harassment at school beginning in 1932; some non-Jewish students protecting him; his bar mitzvah; participating in Maccabi, then in Schwarzes F̈̈ähnlein, a Jewish-German nationalist youth group; living in an agricultural training facility led by Curt Bondy; his mother and brothers emigrating to Amsterdam; joining them (his father followed later); moving to England; returning to Amsterdam when his father was offered a business opportunity; bringing members of the hachsharah to the Netherlands after Kristallnacht; emigrating to the United States by himself in 1939; living in New York, then on a hachsharah in Virginia; maintaining contact with his family until 1941; enlisting in the United States military; antisemitic harassment by fellow soldiers; training as a POW interrogator in military intelligence; deployment to Broadway, England; assignment to the 82nd airborne division; parachuting into France; being wounded; capture and imprisonment; release in June 1944; parachuting into the Netherlands; interrogating German prisoners; finding his mother and brothers in Amsterdam; learning his father had been killed in Auschwitz; his brothers' emigration to the United States; his mother's remarriage; attending university; and returning to live in Berlin. Mr. A. notes the influence of Bondy and the hachsharah on his moral development; their reunion in 1986; and getting back his German citizenship in 1992.

Author/Creator
A., Werner, 1920-
Published
Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 2001
Interview Date
October 8, 2001.
Language
German
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Werner A. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3718). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.