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Oral history interview with Friedrich-Karl Scheibe

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0310.13 | RG Number: RG-50.486.0013

Friedrich-Karl Scheibe, born in 1931 in Suhl-Heinrichs in Germany, describes his family and early childhood; his father’s membership in the Nazi Party; his father and uncle’s service in the first World War; the night of Kristallnacht during which the town’s synagogue was destroyed; antisemitic propaganda in Nazi-run newspapers; the reaction of his parents and others to the outbreak of war in 1939; the pride his parents took in lands gained under Hitler; an incident in which three bombs fell in the forest outside of his town; the increasing number of death announcements during the war; the sight of a column of Jewish people guarded by SA soldiers who shouted commands; the presence of hundreds of onlookers who watched the column pass; the Jewish families in his town who emigrated from Germany; his membership in the Hitler Youth in 1941; the focus of the Hitler Youth on preliminary military training, not antisemitism; encountering concentration camp inmates being marched to their deaths; the inhumane treatment of the prisoners by the SS and his resulting disillusionment with the Nazi Party; the defeated German Army withdrawing through his town; the arrival of American soldiers who were admired, and the arrival of Soviet soldiers who were disliked; his understanding of Buchenwald and the belief that it was used for the punishment of dissenters; not being aware of extermination camps; his contact with foreign workers; his assessment that the treatment of Russian prisoners was inhumane and militarily pointless; and living under repressive measures from the Soviets postwar.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Friedrich-Karl Scheibe
Maria Nooke
interview:  1999 May 04
5 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2021-02-16 15:52:36
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