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Oral history interview with William Hess

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0427 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0076

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    Oral history interview with William Hess


    Interview Summary
    William Hess was born William Verna on August 8, 1921 in Stuttgart, Germany. He was an only child and lived a pleasant life there. Despite the Nuremberg laws, he was permitted to continue his schooling as his father served during World War I. Nevertheless, they lost the service of their maid. William experienced little anti-Semitism in Germany but knew that Hitler made anti-Semitic speeches and had newspaper articles written against the Jews. His father's business suffered little from the boycotting but he sold it in 1938. Anti-Semitism was more severe in the outlying towns than in Stuttgart. William studied English for two years before immigrating to Danville, Illinois with his uncle's assistance in 1937. He had difficulty adjusting to the US so had an English tutor. Additionally, he had difficulty living on his wages of $12.50 as $9 went toward room and board and he also had to cover tutoring and transportation expenses. Kristallnacht and his father's internment in Dachau influenced his parents to leave Germany in 1939 for Danville.
    Mr. William Hess
    Esther Finder
    interview:  1997 August 15
    creation: Rockville (Md.)

    Physical Details

    2 sound cassettes (74 min.).

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Hess, William.

    Administrative Notes

    Esther Finder, a volunteer for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History branch conducted this interview on August 15, 1997 in Rockville, MD.
    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 08:12:18
    This page:

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