Erika H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3727) interviewed by Irene Diekmann and Veronika Lipphardt
- Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 1996
- Interview Date
- August 22, 1996.
- 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.
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.