Erika W. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3728) interviewed by Cathy S. Gelbin and Sonja Miltenberger
- Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 1996
- Interview Date
- May 6, 1996.
- 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.
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.