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Oral history interview with Charlotte Dessen

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2006.70.49 | RG Number: RG-50.583.0049

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    Oral history interview with Charlotte Dessen


    Interview Summary
    Charlotte Dessen, born September 18, 1925 in Gardelegen, Germany, discusses her family and educational background; her family being taken to a ghetto; arriving at Auschwitz; the selections; the conditions; no one working initially, then being placed for work in an ammunitions factory; an injury where she lost a finger; the time of recuperation in the hospital being dangerous because of selections; returning to work; undergoing full body searches; three girls being condemned to death for stealing ammunition to blow up the gas chambers; hearing the Russians were nearing in January 1945; the forced death march; arriving in Ravensbrück; having her toes amputated because of frost bite; hearing the Russians near, and staying behind when her block was cleared because she couldn’t walk; being liberated by the Russians on April 29, 1945; working as a clothes sorter in Auschwitz and finding money and a diamond in the clothing; being rescued from gassing; liberation and being moved to Berlin, Germany by train; returning with a friend from the camp to her hometown; getting her house back and being treated nicely by the townspeople; immigrating to South Africa via Paris, France; and living in South Africa for 19 years before moving to Australia in 1966.
    Charlotte Dessen
    interview:  1989 February 02
    Credit Line
    Forms part of the Claims Conference International Holocaust Documentation Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This archive consists of documentation whose reproduction and/or acquisition was made possible with funding from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

    Physical Details

    1 sound cassette.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Permission must be obtained from the University of Sydney, Archive of Australian Judaica for any type of use other than research.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Dessen, Charlotte, 1925-

    Administrative Notes

    The Australian Institute of Holocaust Studies conducted the interview with Charlotte Dessen for the Twelfth Hour Project. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received a copy of the interview in April 2006 from the State Library of New South Wales where the collection is housed.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:03:16
    This page:

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