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Oral history interview with Edith Hahn-Beer

Oral History | Digitized | RG Number: RG-50.030.0392

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    Oral history interview with Edith Hahn-Beer


    Interview Summary
    Edith Hahn-Beer, born on January 24, 1914 in Vienna, Austria, describes her family situation growing up; attending law school at the University of Vienna until the Anschluss when Jews were no longer allowed to attend university; her sisters’ immigration to Palestine in late 1938; staying in Vienna with her mother but moving in with an aunt and two other women; having to register with the Gestapo in April 1941; being picked up with her mother to go to the Work Bureau and cut asparagus in the fields for six weeks; beginning to work at the Merten’s Plantation in Osterburg, Germany on May 9, 1941; her transfer to Aschersleben, Germany on October 13, 1941, where she worked at Bestehorn Company, a paper factory, until June 22, 1942, when she returned to Vienna; choosing not to report to the collection camp and joining the underground resistance movement; going to Munich, Germany in August 1942 to register as a Red Cross volunteer under the name Grete Denner; meeting her future husband Werner Vetter in Brandenburg, Germany; becoming pregnant and marrying Werner on the Easter Sunday of 1944; her husband’s draft into the Army in September 1944 and being taken as a prisoner for two years by the Russian Army; applying for a position at the municipal court in the fall of 1945 and serving as a judicial administrator and later as a municipal court judge; her refusal to try Nazis and subsequently losing her judgeship; beginning work as a public prosecutor; Werner’s return home in 1947 and their divorce; being approached by the Russian secret police to act as a spy against West Germany and then fleeing to England in 1948; marrying Fritz Beer, an Austrian Jewish immigrant, in 1957; and immigrating to Israel after Frtiz’s death in 1988.
    Edith Hahn-Beer
    Ringelheim, Dr. Joan
    interview:  1998 May 21

    Physical Details

    Oral histories.
    6 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Restrictions on use. Edith Hahn-Beer retains copyright of the interview for the rest of her life and for seventy years after her death. Interview cannot be used for commercial purposes.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Joan Ringelheim, on behalf of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Branch, conducted the oral history interview with Edith Hahn-Beer on May 26, 1998.
    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 08:02:34
    This page:

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