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Oral history interview with Erica van Adelsberg

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.24 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0024

Erica Van Adelsberg (née Herz), born in Munich, Germany in 1928, describes her assimilated, liberal Jewish family; leaving Germany with her parents and younger brother in 1932 to live in Aerdenhoudt, Holland; living comfortably and the decency of the Dutch people; how in 1940 after the German occupation, her family was designated as being stateless; being forced to move and conditions worsening; being sent to Westerbork internment camp in 1942; continuing her education and being trained as a laboratory technician at age 14; becoming part of a Zionist youth group, which heightened her Jewish identity in contrast to her parents' assimilated orientation; life in the camp, including her friend's wedding as well as the weekly transports to Auschwitz; being sent with her family on February 15, 1944 to Bergen-Belsen; the camp routine and her work in a plastic pipe factory; the cruelty of the Polish Kapos; contracting with para-typhoid for several weeks with no medication; the family being transported by train in April 1945 with about 600 others for two weeks; enduring bombings by Allied planes; being liberated by two Russian soldiers on horseback in Trbitz, near Leipzig, Germany; the Russians setting up a hospital and caring for the survivors, many of whom succumbed to typhoid fever; how six weeks later the Americans took her family back to Holland, where her brother became the first to celebrate a bar mitzvah after the war; going to the United States in 1946; and attending a Quaker school.

Interviewee
Erica Van Adelsberg
Date
1981 December 08  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, gift of the Holocaust Oral History Archive of Gratz College
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:46:39
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn508645