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Oral history interview with John Franklin

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.291 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0291

John Franklin was born Hans Frankenthal in July 1930 to Max and Clara Frankenthal. He had an older brother named Danner. The family lived in Voitsburg, Germany. After Kristallnacht, the family fled to Holland; Mr. Franklin's brother Danner escaped to the United States in 1938 with the support of his mother’s brother, and changed his name to Warren Franklin.

The Frankenthal family lived in a small town in the interior of Holland from 1938 until 1942. In late 1942 all Jews were removed to Amsterdam. In the middle of 1943, Mr. Franklin, his father and mother were deported to Westerbork. Shortly afterward, Mr. Franklin and his father were deported to Bergen-Belsen. In 1945 he and his father were loaded into a transport train from Bergen-Belsen to Theresienstadt. The train never arrived at its destination and later became famous as the Lost Train. His father perished en route and was buried in a mass grave. The train stopped in Troebitz, in the Russian zone, where the prisoners were liberated by Russian Cossacks.

After the war, Mr. Franklin returned to Holland and reunited with his mother, who had been in Auschwitz, and his grandmother, who had spent the war years hidden in Holland. After his grandmother died in 1946, Mr. Franklin and his mother joined his brother and uncle in San Francisco in 1948.

Mr. Franklin was educated as a teacher in the United States, and taught high school economics and political science in San Francisco public schools. He married at age 57 and has two stepchildren.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
John Franklin
Tami Benau
interview:  1994 December 08
interview:  1995 October 06
Oral histories.
2 videocassettes (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:32:42
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