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Charles H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3970) interviewed by Raymond Kaplan

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3970

Videotape testimony of Charles H., who was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany in 1920. He recounts his family's move to Vienna; the Anschluss; an uncle who had emigrated to the United States sending them emigration papers; moving to Prague so they could leave from a neutral country; German occupation; deportation to the Łódź ghetto in 1940; his father being "taken away"; transfer to Poznań, Auschwitz, then Myslowice (Fürstengrube) in January 1941; assignment to an I. G. Farben coal mine; a German supervisor allowing his group to rest and providing extra food; shootings of every tenth prisoner after escape attempts; transfer to Gleiwitz, then Dora/Nordhausen in 1945; taking the uniform of dead non-Jewish prisoner to improve his status; a prisoner underground contacting the British, resulting in bombings; a death march; an SS commander shooting himself in front of them in Güntersberge declaring his shame at being a German; liberation by United States troops; recuperation in a sanatorium; Soviet appointment as police chief in Güntersberge, then as culture minister in Harzgerode; receiving emigration papers for the U.S. from his uncle; transfer to Moscow to learn to be a communist; traveling to Paris; and emigration nine months later to the United States in 1949. Mr. H. discusses learning through the Red Cross that his mother and sister were killed; contact with the family of the German supervisor who helped him; and attributing his survival to "pure luck." He shows his camp uniform.

Author/Creator
H., Charles, 1920-
Published
Mahwah, N.J. : Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 1998
Interview Date
October 2, 1998.
Locale
Poland
Łódź
Germany
Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
Vienna (Austria)
Austria
Prague (Czech Republic)
Harzgerode (Germany)
Güntersberge (Germany)
Moscow (Russia)
Paris (France)
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Charles H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3970). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.