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Oral history interview with Kurt Roberg

Oral History | Accession Number: 2001.33 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0141

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

Kurt Roberg, born May 16, 1924 in Celle, Germany, discusses his childhood; attending a German school where he was the only Jewish student; his father Victor Roberg’s profession as a merchant for the firm Gebrüder Freidberg; his family’s religious practices; Kristallnacht; antisemitism in his hometown; details of German politics of the time; the boycott of Jewish businesses on April 1, 1933; how a retired teacher, Hal Lotheim, taught local Jewish students; the Hitler Youth in his community; his Bar Mitzvah; how his brother, Harry, immigrated in 1936 to Holland, the Netherlands to live with their maternal uncle, Wilhelm Marx; how his father had to close his business in 1937; his mother’s 1938 trip to Hamburg, Germany to visit the American consulate; how his father was sent to Oranienburg after Kristallnacht; his father’s release and experiences in Oranienburg; his journey to Holland to join his brother and uncle; how his mother and father used American visa applications to travel to Holland; how his mother, father, and brother immigrated to the United States from Holland in 1940; German attacks on Rotterdam, the Netherlands; being interned in Holland for his status as a German citizen; being sent out of Rotterdam to Gouda, the Netherlands; how a woman organized transports of children from Holland and Belgium to reunite with their parents; receiving his American visa in January 1941; leaving Holland in March 1941; traveling from Germany to Spain and then to Lisbon, Portugal by train with other children; traveling by American ship from Lisbon, Portugal to the United States; being held on Ellis Island for a month because of visa complications; living in New Rochelle, New York with his family; learning about Pearl Harbor; how he and his brother joined the army in 1943; experiencing antisemitism in the army; his experience in the Pacific during World War II; and his life with his family after the war.

Interviewee
Kurt Roberg
Interviewer
Gail Schwartz
Date
2001 March 16  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
5 sound cassettes (60 min.).