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Rabbi Alexander A. Holocaust testimony (HVT-261) interviewed by Laurel Vlock

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-261

Video testimony of Rabbi Alexander A., who was born in Hungary in 1906. Rabbi A. recounts moving to Salzburg, Austria, then Trier, Germany where his father served as rabbi. He relates studying at Yeshivas in Cologne, Bratislava and Berlin; receiving his Ph.D. and rabbinical ordination in Berlin; serving as a rabbi at orthodox synagogues in Berlin; his marriage in 1932; and the difficulties he and his congregants experienced as Hitler rose to power. Rabbi A. describes Jewish community life; the attempts of almost all Jews to leave Germany; the cultural responses of the Jewish community which included publications and plays; the Nuremberg laws; and the successful efforts of him and his family to leave Germany before August 1938. Rabbi A. recalls the harrowing circumstances of his own escape through Holland, where he was temporarily reunited with his parents and siblings, and settling as a rabbi in Manchester, England. He discusses the fate of his parents and sister and family who were deported from Holland to Theresienstadt and perished in Auschwitz, and Leo Baeck's (a friend from youth) visits with them in Theresienstadt, which Rabbi Baeck related to Rabbi A. after the war. Rabbi A. reflects on relations between Germans and Jews; lecturing in Germany where he has been honored by several universities; and his perception that many young Germans are ashamed of this part of their past.

Author/Creator
A., Alexander, 1906-
Published
New Haven, Conn. : Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, 1984
Interview Date
April 12, 1984.
Language
English
Copies
3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Rabbi Alexander A. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-261). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.