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Oral history interview with Susan Faulkner

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.5 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0005

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    Oral history interview with Susan Faulkner


    Interview Summary
    Susan Faulkner (née Neulaender), born in 1921 in Berlin, Germany, describes her father, who was a banker; being raised in an assimilated Jewish family; still having Jewish religious instruction in her public school during the first year under the Nazi regime; being favorably influenced by the ordained female rabbi, Regina Jonas; experiencing antisemitism and traumatic discrimination at school after 1933; the brief relaxation of anti-Jewish measures in Berlin during the 1936 Olympic Games; attending a private Jewish school for a year; having a brief, unhappy experience in a Zionist agricultural school in Silesia in 1936; working for relatives in Gleiwitz in Silesia (Gliwice, Poland), where she felt more protected in a traditional Jewish community than she had felt in Berlin; returning to Berlin and working in Alltrue emigration processing agency; her memories of Kristallnacht in November 1938 and witnessing the destruction of Jewish property, the burning of the Fasanenstrasse Synagogue as onlookers cheered, and the beating of an elderly Jewish man; how her father fled to Belgium, was later caught in Marseilles, and died in Auschwitz; traveling with her mother and sister to Guatemala in 1938 on a German ship; their fourth class passage and how they were treated with disdain by the crew; reaching the United States two years later; getting married in 1942 to an Austrian refugee who converted to Protestantism; beginning her college studies in 1958 with restitution money from Germany and earning a Ph.D. in English; becoming a teacher; her need to bear witness to the Holocaust; her psychological problems associated with survivor guilt; and her painful attempts to identify as a Jew, including compulsive writing of pro-Jewish and pro-Israel letters to editors.
    Susan N. Faulkner
    Dr. Nora Levin
    interview:  1983 November
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive

    Physical Details

    4 sound cassettes (60 min.).

    Rights & Restrictions

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    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
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    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive conducted the interview with Susan Faulkner in New York, N.Y., in November 1983. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the tapes of the interview from Gratz College on September 26, 1997.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:35:55
    This page:

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