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Oral history interview with Norbert Wollheim

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1994.A.0447.32 | RG Number: RG-50.042.0032

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    Oral history interview with Norbert Wollheim


    Interview Summary
    Norbert Wollheim discusses his parents' deportation from Berlin, Germany in 1943 and his deportation with his wife and son to Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943; how some prisoners prayed and celebrated Sabbath while on the transport to Auschwitz; his arrival in Auschwitz and his separation from his wife and child; his registration and tattoo; the role of the SS in Auschwitz; his time working in the Buna factory near the camp; his work as a welder in Auschwitz; his friend Fritz Schaeffer who committed suicide while in Auschwitz; his experiences with Kapos; his thoughts on spiritual resistance in the camp; his memories of Kristallnacht in Germany in 1938; his involvement in a Kindertransport of children from Berlin to England shortly after Kristallnacht; his memories of life in Berlin before 1933 and how conditions changed for Jews after the Nazis came to power; his memories of the voyage of the St. Louis; his thoughts on revenge; his feelings at the time of liberation; his thoughts on the different types of concentration camps; his thoughts on forced labor and work camps used during the Holocaust; the choices he made in order to survive; how he relied on the friendships with other inmates for support and how he befriended British prisoners of war while in Auschwitz; how age and gender played a role in who survived the Holocaust; and his memories of the "Appel" in Auschwitz.
    Norbert Wollheim
    Sandra Bradley
    interview:  1992 February 18
    creation: Silver Spring (Md.)

    Physical Details

    4 film reels : color ; 16 mm.
    7 sound tape reels : analog, mono ; 7 in..
    3 videocassette (D2) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Topical Term
    Concentration camp inmates--Religious life. Concentration camp inmates--Selection process. Concentration camp inmates--Suicidal behavior. Concentration camp tattoos. Holocaust survivors--United States--Interviews. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Germany--Personal narratives. Jewish children--Germany--Berlin. Jews--Persecutions--Germany--Berlin. Kapos--Poland--Oswiecim. Kindertransports (Rescue operations) Kristallnacht, 1938. Prayer. Prisoners of war--Great Britain. Revenge. Roll calls. Sabbat. Suicide--Poland--Oswiecim. Welders (Persons)--Poland--Oswiecim. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation. World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor--Poland--Oswiecim. World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Germany. World War, 1939-1945--Jewish resistance--Poland--Oswiecim. Men--Personal narratives.

    Administrative Notes

    Sandra Bradley, a film production consultant for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, conducted the interview with Norbert Wollheim on February 18, 1992, in Silver Spring, Md., in preparation for the making of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum exhibition film, "Testimony." The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History branch received the films and tapes of the interview in August 1994. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives received the films and tapes of the interview via transfer from the Oral History branch in February 1995.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:08:51
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