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Oral history interview with Lotti Groscot

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1281.6 | RG Number: RG-50.146.0006

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Lotti Groscot, born in September 1928 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, describes being in Brussels, Belgium on September 1, 1939 at the outbreak of WWII; the rising antisemitism in Frankfurt, including public place restrictions; the beating of her brother in the street; Kristallnacht; her mother’s anxious desire to leave Germany; her father’s keen interest in waiting it out; her father’s six arrests, interrogations, and release; her father’s decision to leave with a smuggler’s aid in 1939 to Holland; the betrayal by the smuggler and her father’s arrest and return to Germany; her father’s deportation to Buchenwald, where he stayed for three months; her mother’s depression; securing a visa for her father; harassing visits from Germans (once with supposed ashes of their father, which wasn’t true); her father’s arrival at train station, malnourished, having survived a typhus outbreak, holding photo of his three children (Leo, Dorra, and Lotti); the conditions of her father’s freedom, contingent upon his signing a paper revealing nothing to anyone about his internment; her father, upon arrival at apartment where there were Jews and non-Jews, revealing everything to everyone to family’s horror; her father’s departure for England via Brussels; staying at an uncle’s place in Brussels for a year where she attended school but couldn’t speak French; her mother hiding in Brussels because she lacked papers; her cousin’s decision to flee Brussels by car for France on September 1, 1939; their delay at the border for three days because roads reserved for military vehicles only; hiding in a small village with her mother; the arrival of the Germans; their decision to return to Brussels; the notice in May-June 1940 to bring clothes and belongings and report to the police; her mother’s decision for them to go into hiding; betrayal by a neighbor; the kindness of Madame Messer, a German married to a Jew, who allowed them to hide in her home for a few days; another betrayal and moving to another location; her job as a dressmaker; feeling fear as deportations increased; the arrival of Germans at their apartment and the arrest of her aunt and uncle; her and her mother’s arrest and detention; the September 1, 1944 allied bombing and being released from Malines (Mechelen, Belgium) as the allies approached; returning to Brussels; feeling emotional distress; her desire to go to London to her join father; her, her mother, and Dorra traveling via Ostend to reunite with her father; her post-war life; attempting to reintegrate and settle; visiting Frankfurt and going to the synagogue; and her continuing post-war emotional turmoil.

Interviewee
Lotti Groscot
Date
1993 May 11  (interview)
Language
French
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:40:26
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn507939