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Oral history interview with Jack Hoffmann

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.103.6 | RG Number: RG-50.865.0006

Jack Hoffmann, born in 1924 in Stanislau, Poland (Stanislav, Ukraine), describes how his father Marcus, his mother Ernestine, his older sister Leah, and he moved to Austria around 1926; living in a small apartment in Vienna; his family being lower middle-class and his father’s job as an executive in a firm making margarine; his Orthodox father and his assimilated mother; attending gymnasium and Hebrew school and playing field hockey; his family having Jewish and non-Jewish friends and being culturally active, often attending Vienna's opera and theatre; minor incidents of antisemitism; the Jewish refugees who came from Germany after 1933; the social changes in Germany; the Anschluss and the Nuremberg laws; his family being moved to a smaller apartment; seeing Hitler in a parade on April 9, 1938; his father losing his job; changes in his school and being kicked out; his memories of Kristallnacht and the destruction of synagogues; his father being arrested and kept several weeks; taking Zionist courses to prepare Jews for going to Palestine; being sent on a Kindertransport to London, England; attending an intercultural camp, sponsored by a Zionist organization; staying with several families in Wellingborough and Liverpool; going to Boston, MA in July 1940; his parents and sister arriving in New York in February 1940; his younger brother dying in Buchenwald and other family members who died in camps; living in New York, NY and attending Samuel J. Tilden High School; being drafted in 1943 and his father dying while he was away; attending NYU and UNC Greensboro; working at the Kloeckner company and being wary at first about working for a German company; traveling to Germany and being struck by the dramatic change there; getting married in 1982; being active in his community; joining the Kindertransport Association and attending a 1999 reunion in London; speaking to middle and high school students in Greensboro; participating in the Greensboro Holocaust Council; his involvement with politics and organizing several groups; and his belief in the importance of sharing stories of the Holocaust.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Jack Hoffmann
Interviewer
Dr. Marcia Horn
Date
interview:  2006 November 14
Language
English
Extent
1 DVD.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Marcia Horn
 
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:28:05
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn126354