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Oral history interview with Herbert Oppenheimer

Oral History | Accession Number: 1989.346.53 | RG Number: RG-50.031.0053

Herbert Oppenheimer, born on January 4, 1926 in Berlin, Germany, describes living with foster parents, who were Seventh-Day Adventists, from the time he was four months old until he was 11; learning his was Jewish at the age of nine for his school; staying in a Jewish orphanage from age 11 until 1940; learning a trade in the orphanage; how he had to join Hitler youth when he lived with his foster parents; how the orphanage was run by the Jewish community center; living with a Jewish family while learning a trade at the age of 14 and the family’s arrest in 1941; receiving help from his foster parents; working for a company making typewriters; how Jews were not allowed to work in the daytime; not having to wear a star badge; being a foreman until August 1942; being arrested and held in a detention center; being sent after four weeks to Camp Ruellhide; working on a railroad for four weeks; being sent to Auschwitz; being mentally prepared for the camp and his survival techniques; being sick in the hospital and advised by the doctor to get out as soon as he could; volunteering to go to another camp; lying about his age and skills as a mechanic; working in a small camp, working on anti-aircraft guns; being sent to Mauthausen in January 1945; being liberated on May 5, 1945 by American troops; the Russian troops taking over and the sexual assault of women camp survivors; being marched by the Russians and escaping with a friend; going to Frankfurt, Germany; meeting his future wife; and immigrating to the United States.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Herbert Oppenheimer
interview:  1983 December 18
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: 2023-08-25 09:42:25
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