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Oral history interview with Rolf Hirschberg

Oral History | Accession Number: 1996.A.0476 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0445

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

Rolf Hirschberg, born in 1902 in Berlin, Germany, discusses his childhood; the death of his father when he was six and his older brother taking over the care of the household; his sickliness as a child; leaving school at age sixteen and working at the same firm that had employed his older brother; developing a friendship and then an intimate relationship with an older man named Emil; Emil's sister-in-law finding out about their relationship and urging them to see Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld; a party that they attended at Magnus Hirschfeld's house; Hitler's rise to power in Germany in 1933 and the beginnings of persecution against homosexuals and Jews; his and Emil's decision to leave the country in 1936; their journey through Europe until they immigrated to the United States in 1937; arranging through a rabbi to have his mother hidden in a nursing home for the elderly; finding an apartment and settling in New York City; his Jewish upbringing and his awareness of antisemitism in Germany; a meeting with a high-school friend who had joined the Nazi Party; his memories of homosexual bars in Berlin during the 1930s; and the fates of family members and other homosexual friends in Germany.

Interviewee
Rolf Hirschberg
Interviewer
Klaus Müller
Date
1996 October 14  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
2 sound cassettes (60 min.).
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:17:13
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn504930