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Oral history interview with Ilse Kaye, Robert Kaye, and Helga Franks

Oral History | Accession Number: 1989.346.18 | RG Number: RG-50.031.0018

Ilse Kaye (née Hoffman), born in 1921 in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland), describes her family history; being raised in a liberal Jewish family; Hitler raising to power in the 1930s and the effects on her family; experiencing Nazi rhetoric at her school; working with a dentist friend of the family after she left a Jewish school in 1937; attending school to learn dental mechanics; her father being pressured to give up his business; her family’s attempts to leave the country; being shocked by Kristallnacht; her father’s arrest and deportation to Buchenwald; going with her family to Shanghai, China; and her speculations on the reasons behind the violence of Kristallnacht.

Robert Kaye, born in 1911 in Vienna, Austria, describes his family history; experiencing some antisemitism; the Anschluss; and the impact Kristallnacht and being sent to Buchenwald had on him.

Helga Franks, born in 1926 in Berlin, Germany, describes her family history; her vivid memories of April 1, 1933, including the boycotts and the German troopers chasing potential customers away from Jewish stores; attending school; the popular rabbi, Manfred Swarsensky; her family’s religious observations during the High Holidays; enrolling in a private Jewish school in 1937 when she was no longer allowed at the public school; her family’s attempts to immigrate to Sweden; her father deciding they would stay in Germany; the events on Kristallnacht, including the burning of synagogues; getting visas for France soon after Kristallnacht; learning how to handle crises; surviving in Paris with her mother and her father’s death from a heart attack; and her emotional reactions to visiting Germany in 1966.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Helga Franks
Robert Kaye
Ilse Kaye
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
Record last modified: 2023-11-16 08:07:04
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