Gerda S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3911)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1998
- Interview Date
- January 14 and January 22, 1998.
- 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.
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.