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Oral history interview with Charlotte Dessen

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

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

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 Ravensbruck; 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.

Interviewee
Charlotte Dessen
Date
1989 February 02  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 sound cassette.
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.
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:51:40
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn43192