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Gerda S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3911)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3911

Videotape testimony of Gerda K., who was born in Hannover, Germany in 1932, the younger of two sisters. She recounts her family's affluence; her father losing a leg in World War I; his position in the Reichsbank; his forced retirement in 1935 due to anti-Jewish laws; his strong German identity, resulting in his refusal to emigrate; her uncle's arrest on Kristallnacht; futile attempts to emigrate; attending a Jewish school for two years, then a hachsharah in Ahlem; having to move many times; deportation with her family to Theresienstadt in 1942; playing hide and seek among corpses; hospitalization for six months; attending an Agudat Israel school; a close friendship with a girl with whom she often played; participating in a Zionist group; attending music performances; borrowing books from the library; sham improvements for a Red Cross visit; Jews who received packages sharing food with her; praying frequently; her friend's deportation (she never saw her again); a prisoner giving birth; an SS who had served with her father in World War I saving them from deportation; arrival of prisoners who had been on death marches; learning of death and slave labor camps; liberation by Soviet troops; returning home; assistance from the Jewish community; attending a German school, a Jewish school, then a hachsharah in Ahlem; receiving reparations; attending a private school; antisemitic German peers; visiting cousins in Israel in 1954; emigrating in 1955, wanting to live among Jews; marriage; and the births of her children. Ms. K. notes her prayers and faith helping her survive; constant fear in Theresienstadt; her parents as broken people after the war; her guilt resulting from suffering less than others; continuing health problems; and her children's responses to habits resulting from war experiences. She discusses a visit to Theresienstadt and shows a bag her friend made for her there, as well as photographs and documents.

S., Gerda, 1932-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1998
Interview Date
January 14 and January 22, 1998.
Hannover (Germany)
Ahlem (Germany)
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Gerda S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3911). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-29 11:42:00
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