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Erika W. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3728) interviewed by Cathy S. Gelbin and Sonja Miltenberger

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3728

Videotape testimony of Erika W., who was born in Saarbrücken, Germany in 1936. She recounts her father's communist activities; being baptized, although her mother was "non-Aryan"; her father's military enlistment, hoping to save the family from concentration camps; two memories of her mother, one at a train station and another during an accident; placement with her three brothers in a convent orphanage in Landstuhl; hunger, illness, and arduous physical labor; antisemitic taunting; her brothers secretly bringing her food; learning their mother perished in Ravensbrück in 1943; placement with a foster family in 1950; having to work for them at home and in a cigar factory in France; return to the orphanage; becoming ill; a doctor and priest placing her with a caring foster family; caring for her father and working in Kiel; trying to learn about her past from him; several other jobs; working as a university librarian in Berlin; and retirement. Ms. W. discusses efforts to recover memories of her early life; physical illness resulting from the war years; her younger brother's congenital disability due to her mother being beaten during pregnancy; and visiting Ravensbrück after German reunification. She shows photographs.

Author/Creator
W., Erika, 1936-
Published
Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 1996
Interview Date
May 6, 1996.
Language
German
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Erika W. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3728). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4298827
Record last modified: 2011-05-05 11:41:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4298827