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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.

H., Charles, 1920-
Mahwah, N.J. : Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 1998
Interview Date
October 2, 1998.
Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
Vienna (Austria)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Harzgerode (Germany)
Güntersberge (Germany)
Moscow (Russia)
Paris (France)
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.