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Oral history interview with Gerda Schild Haas

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.030.0334

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

Gerda Schild Haas, born in Ansbach, Germany in November 1922, describes her family and the local Jewish community; attending Gymnasium until 1936, when she had to leave because of antisemitic laws; not believing that Hitler would try to make Germany “Judenrein”; her father getting captured and sent to a prison in Nuremberg after Kristallnacht but managing to escape to England in July 1939 and go on to the United States; traveling to Berlin to work as a baby’s nurse in a Jewish hospital; seeing her sister struggling to live while working at a Siemens factory until she was deported to Auschwitz; her deportation to Theresienstadt and trying to take care of children on the transport with her; working on beautification projects in the camp to make it appear decent to the visiting International Red Cross Commission; forming a friendship with a young lady who had a baby in her hospital before their deportation from Theresienstadt; the exchange of cigarettes in the camp and always trying to get food; working in a children’s home and coming up with fantasies with her friends to survive; being released to Swiss forces in a deal Himmler made with the Allies to exchange five million dollars for 1,200 Theresienstadt prisoners in good shape; and eventually immigrating the United States, where she started a family.

Interviewee
Gerda Schild Haas
Interviewer
Joan Ringelheim
Date
1995 June 12  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
4 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection