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Oral history interview with Ernest G. Heppner

Oral History | Accession Number: 1989.H.0315 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0095

Ernest G. Heppner, born in 1921 in Germany, describes his experiences with antisemitism in his youth; participating in a Jewish youth organization; his father’s positive experiences running a factory in the mid-1930s; being kicked out of school and learning how to weld; losing any sense of hope for German Jews after his experiences on Kristallnacht; his family being forced to sell their house and considering immigration; he and his mother getting a place on a steamship to Shanghai, China by giving the captain of the ship some of their Impressionist paintings; arriving in Shanghai in March 1939; his mother finding a job with a youth committee; communicating through letters with his father and sister back home a few times before never hearing from them again; participating in the British Boy Scout Association in Shanghai; seeing the Imperial Japanese Naval Landing Party come into Shanghai after Pearl Harbor and acting as a British spy; the Jews of Shanghai being forced into a ghetto-like area of the city in February 1943; finding a job in a bakery and meeting his future wife in the ghetto; getting married shortly before the end of the war and going to work for the American occupying forces; his memories of life in the ghetto; and immigrating to the United States in 1947.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Mr. Ernest G. Heppner
Linda G. Kuzmack
interview:  1989 May 10
Oral histories.
3 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2022-04-21 07:08:52
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