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Werner B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3732) interviewed by Annette Leo and Eva Bauer,

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3732

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    Videotape testimony of Werner B., who was born in Oberhausen, Germany in 1924. He recounts his family's move to Berlin in 1929; their strong German patriotism; his parents' divorce in 1932; living with his maternal grandmother in Pila; antisemitic harassment at school; his bar mitzvah; attending a Jewish boarding school in Szczecin; arrest of all the teachers on Kristallnacht; his mother's emigration with her second husband and daughter to Shanghai; joining a hachsharah; returning to Berlin; working in a factory; his father's suicide; planning to escape to Switzerland in 1943; traveling to Munich; arrest near the Swiss border; incarceration in Waldshut, then Karlsruhe; interrogations, beatings, and solitary confinement; transfer to prisons in Frankfurt, Bautzen, and Breslau; deportation to Auschwitz; slave labor doing construction; a high death rate; friendship with an influential German prisoner; reassignment through his friend, caring for dogs owned by high officials; working in Kommandant Höss's villa; Höss saving him from punishment when he was accused of stealing food; a death march to Pless in January 1945, then train transport to Mauthausen; transfer to Melk; slave labor constructing an underground factory; a brutal beating; transfer to Ebensee; observing cannibalism; liberation by United States troops; traveling to Linz, then Vienna; living in the Enns displaced persons camp supported by UNRRA; relocating to Munich; marriage; his daughter's birth; working for the Joint; joining his mother in San Francisco in 1948; his son's birth; military draft; divorce; returning to Germany in 1959; marriage; and the death of his second wife. Mr. B. discusses camp hierarchies; his loss of all opportunities, including education; his sense of not belonging in the United States and not even in Germany, despite “feeling German”; retaining his religious faith; recently visiting Auschwitz with German youth; and persistent painful memories and nightmares, particularly of Höss and the Auschwitz guard Kaduk. He shows documents.
    B., Werner, 1924-
    Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 1996
    Interview Date
    October 13, 1996.
    Oberhausen (Düsseldorf, Germany)
    Berlin (Germany)
    Piła (Poland)
    Szczecin (Poland)
    Linz (Austria)
    Vienna (Austria)
    Munich (Germany)
    Cite As
    Werner B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3732). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
    Other Authors/Editors
    Leo, Annette, interviewer.
    Bauer, Eva, interviewer.
    This testimony is in German.

    Physical Details

    2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
    Physical Description
    1 videorecording (6 hr., 37 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Child survivors.
    Antisemitism Prewar.
    Crystal Night, 1938.
    Mutual aid.
    Aid by non-Jews.
    Postwar experiences.
    Postwar effects.
    Holocaust survivors. Video tapes. Men. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Jewish. World War, 1939-1945--Children. Jewish children in the Holocaust. Bar mitzvah. Kristallnacht, 1938. World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons, German. Forced labor. Cannibalism. Refugee camps. Concentration camps--Sociological aspects. Faith. Nightmares. Germany. Oberhausen (Düsseldorf, Germany) Berlin (Germany) Piła (Poland) Szczecin (Poland) Linz (Austria) Vienna (Austria) Munich (Germany) Oral histories (document genres) B., Werner,--1924- Höss, Rudolf,--1900-1947. Kaduk. Auschwitz (Concentration camp) Mauthausen (Concentration camp) Melk (Concentration camp) Ebensee (Concentration camp) United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

    Administrative Notes

    Link to Yale University Library Catalog:
    Record last modified:
    2018-05-30 11:51:00
    This page:

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