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Oral history interview with Juergen Simonson

Oral History | Accession Number: 1998.A.0051 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0455

Juergen Simonson, born in 1924, discusses his paternal family's conversion from Judaism to Christianity in the nineteenth century and his status as a Mischlinge under Nazi law; his father's dismissal from his judgeship in Forst, Germany in 1935; moving with his parents to Dresden, Germany after experiencing antisemitism; attending a German school and graduating in 1942; being sent for forced labor to a Dresden armaments factory; his father's immigration to England in March 1939 and getting involved with the British German Christian Fellowship in England; his father's failed arrangements for his and his mother's immigration in September 1939; his recruitment into the Organisation Todt (OT), a Nazi construction and engineering group that employed forced laborers; his work with the OT in France and escaping with four friends; his attempt to join the French resistance but getting arrested; finding a job with the American Army and contacting George Bell, Bishop of Chichester, for help in contacting his father and immigrating to England; his immigration to England in June 1945, reuniting with his father and meeting Bishop Bell; his father's ordination as an Anglican priest; his impressions of Bishop Bell and of his advocacy for Jews during World War II; the deportation of his paternal aunt and grandmother from Berlin, Germany to Theresienstadt in 1943; his first experience preaching in a German prisoner of war camp in France and his pursuing a call to ministry in England; his time at theological college in Surrey, England from 1948 to 1952 and his life as an Anglican priest; the relationship between Christians and Jews in England today; and the Church of England's current position on the Holocaust.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Juergen Simonson
Peggy Obrecht
interview:  1998 March 30
Oral histories.
2 sound cassettes (74 min.).