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Oral history interview with Hanna Seckel

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.20 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0020

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    Oral history interview with Hanna Seckel


    Interview Summary
    Hanna Seckel (née Dubova), born in Kolin, Czechoslovakia, describes growing up in Prague, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic); her father, who was a doctor; being involved in the Zionist youth movement; attending a French school until the German occupation in 1939 when the schools were closed and restrictions were imposed on Jews; being 14 years old in 1939 when she went to Denmark on a transport of children from Hashomer Hatzair, sponsored by the Danish League of Peace and Freedom; her life and work in Denmark; working at two farms under harsh conditions; the farms in Gørløse and Naestved; learning through letters from her family about the worsening conditions for Jews in Prague; her parents writing of their immanent deportation to Auschwitz in 1942 and her attempted suicide; the Danish underground called “Radishes”; working as a chambermaid at a Danish boarding school in exchange for her tuition; suffering from her lack of money and being an outsider; how her goal was to get to Palestine; quitting school in 1943 and working as a maid for a family in Naestved; how some refugee children reached Palestine, some were caught, and some were sent back to their original countries by Denmark; being rescued by the Danish underground and the trip to Sweden hidden in a fishing boat; the chief rabbi of Copenhagen, Rabbi Melchior, who was part of the group; being received warmly by Swedish fishermen; the Red Cross handing out supplies and the Swedish police processing them; working as a maid for room and board; working as a maid in exchange for tuition to schools of nursing in Norrköping and Södertälje; losing all contact with her former friends while she was in Uppsala, Sweden; receiving her nursing certificate and working in an insane asylum; returning to Denmark in 1945 because she heard that she was entitled to Danish citizenship, which was not true; working in Copenhagen in a restitution office for Danish Jews; returning to Prague in 1946; living with relatives and earning a degree from Charles University (Univerzita Karlova); returning to Denmark on a Nansen Pass in 1947; going to Sweden and working as a translator in a factory owned by the Noble family; and immigrating to the United States under the Czech quota in 1950.
    Hanna D. Seckel
    Dr. Nora Levin
    interview:  1982 March 26
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive

    Physical Details

    3 sound cassettes (60 min.).

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Corporate Name
    Univerzita Karlova

    Administrative Notes

    The Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive conducted the interview with Hanna Seckel in Philadelphia, Pa., on March 26, 1982. 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 08:36:01
    This page:

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