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Oral history interview with Gertrude Sonnenberg

Oral History | Accession Number: 1993.A.0088.50 | RG Number: RG-50.002.0050

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

Gertrude Sonnenberg, born on February 1, 1919 in Hausberge (Hausberge an der Porta), Germany, begins the interview by showing a photograph of herself at age 19 and photographs of her and her father taken by the police; two rings made for her while she was in the Riga ghetto and a piece of paper given to her by a Jewish policeman as her parents were taken away. She continues by discussing her childhood in Hausberge; the changes that took place in Hausberge when Hitler came to power in 1933; antisemitism in Germany before 1933; her family's move to Hesse, Germany; the closing of high schools, universities, and professions to Jews in the late 1930s; her time in Dortmund, Germany, working as a dressmaker; Kristallnacht; the conversion of her house to a bank in 1939; the establishment of new laws in Hannover pertaining to Jews; the activities of the Kulterbund Deutscher Juden (Jüdischer Kulturbund); the bombing of Germany by the British; her family's time in hiding in an attic in Hannover before their deportation; her family's three day train ride to Riga, Latvia; participating in forced labor in Riga; the gassing and shooting of Jews who couldn't work by the Latvian SS; the establishment of a ghetto and an Appel in Riga; the atrocities that took place in Riga; the uprising in Riga on October 30, 1942, and the execution of the participants of the uprising; her memories of her parents' deportation from Riga; her attempted suicide; her sister's work as a nurse in a hospital and the abortions that were performed in the hospital in Riga; babies being sent away for experiments; the liquidation of the Riga ghetto; her and her sister's time in Kiel-Hassee concentration camp and their liberation from the camp by the Red Cross; their move to and time in Sweden after the World War II; their life in the United States after their emigration in 1948; and her feelings on speaking about the Holocaust. Includes two photographs of Gertrude, one as a young woman and one more recent, accompany the interview.

Interviewee
Gertrude Sonnenberg
Interviewer
Bernard Weinstein
Date
1989 January 25  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Holocaust Resource Center of Kean University
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:51:43
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn505503