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Erika H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3727) interviewed by Irene Diekmann and Veronika Lipphardt

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3727

Videotape testimony of Erika H., who was born in Schivelbein, Germany (presently Świdwin, Poland) in 1921. She recounts the birth of her twin sisters in 1923; summers with grandparents in Kolberg (Kołobrzeg); her family's sabbath observance; antisemitic harassment by other children; her father's bankruptcy in 1930; attending gymnasium; their landlord forcing them to leave their apartment in 1934; moving to the same building as her grandmother in Berlin; attending Jewish schools; working as a tutor; membership in a leftist youth group; men asking for her father on Kristallnacht; non-Jews hiding him; losing her belief in God after seeing her synagogue burned; obtaining a visa to England with assistance from her mother's friend; emigrating to London in July 1939; unsuccessful attempts to arrange her sisters' emigration; working as a maid; the outbreak of war; internment as an "enemy alien" in Liverpool, then the Isle of Man for thirteen months; contacting her parents through the Red Cross; participating in a British German youth group (FDJ); release; working in Leeds; working after the war for a Jewish refugee organization, and reeducating German POWs; emigrating to East Berlin; attending university; and working as a historian. She discusses painful memories; many relatives who were killed, including her sisters, parents, and grandmother, and visiting Kołobrzeg, Schivelbein, and concentration camps sites in 1980. She shows photographs.

H., Erika, 1921-
Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 1996
Interview Date
August 22, 1996.
Świdwin (Poland)
Kołobrzeg (Poland)
Berlin (Germany)
London (England)
Liverpool (England)
Leeds (England)
Isle of Man
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Erika H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3727). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2019-03-11 17:35:00
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