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Oral history interview with Johann Raffeiner

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.402.14 | RG Number: RG-50.654.0014

Johann Raffeiner, born in 1927 in Laas, South Tyrol, describes his family’s choice of German citizenship during the Option Agreement in 1939; being drafted as a Suedtiroler Ordnungsdienst (SOD) guard in 1944; witnessing Jewish slave labor in a marble quarry in Laas; being drafted into the SS Totenkopf division; departing for Prague, Czech Republic in 1945; being chosen for the SS because of his blond hair and blue eyes; being stationed at Heinrich-Himmler-Kaserne and going through military training; witnessing the final days of the Third Reich; abandoning Prague during the civilian uprising; attempting to reach American forces, but being caught by the Soviets; trying to get rid of his SS tattoo; his imprisonment as a POW in a Soviet gulag; and his release in 1949.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Johann Raffeiner
Gerald Steinacher
interview:  2011 April 12
2 videocassettes (DVCAM) : sound, color ; 1/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-05-04 15:48:40
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