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Oral history interview with Rudolph Herz

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1263.17 | RG Number: RG-50.166.0017

Rudolf Herz, born on August 23, 1925 in Stommeln, Germany, describes his family’s history in Stommeln; his experiences of growing antisemitism in Germany; being frightened as a child when he saw the storm troopers marching and heard them singing anti-Jewish songs; the Nuremberg Laws; moving to Cologne, Germany in 1938; his memories of Kristallnacht; the beginning of the war; deportations from Germany; the fate of his extended family; the bombing of Cologne in May 1942; being deported with his family to Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia (Terezín, Czech Republic); his work digging graves; his grandmother’s death; how books were smuggled into the camp by new Czech Jews in the ghetto; being transferred to Auschwitz with his family; arriving in the camp and the selection process; life in the camp with his younger brother and father; how his brother kept a hidden book by Goethe and they memorized it; getting food in the camp; being sent to Schwarzheide in the late summer of 1944; his work unloading bricks from a railroad car; being transferred to Lieberose in October 1944; finding a scrap of paper that said the Allied troops were fighting the German army in the Hürtgen Forest; being sent on a death march; finding cod liver oil and sharing it with a friend; trying to steal bread from another prisoner; arriving in Berlin, Germany and being sent to Sachsenhausen, where he stayed for three weeks; being transferred to Mauthausen and the conditions there; being sent to Gusen to work in a factory; the humiliations he experienced in the camp; prisoner suicides; being liberated; his time with the American troops; his reflections on his Holocaust experience; and his life in the United States.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Rudolph Herz
Tom Downey
interview:  1991 September 19
4 videotape reels (1" Type C) : sound, color ; 1 in..
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:31:35
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