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Oral history interview with Friedrich Waldmann, Heinrich Waldmann, and Johanna Waldmann

Oral History | Accession Number: 1992.A.0124.65 | RG Number: RG-50.028.0065

Friedrich Waldmann (born in 1927), Heinrich (born in 1926), and Johanna (born in 1922), discuss their siblings and half-siblings; their first contact with the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1923 and their mother being baptized in 1929, one year after their father died in an accident; their family’s move in 1934 to Paderborn, Germany, where their mother worked in bible education for the JW; experiencing harassment from other children because of their faith; the arrest and imprisonment of their mother in 1936, at which time the four children still living at home (Johanna, Heinrich, Friedrich, and their younger brother Berthold) were sent to a Catholic orphanage; the release of their mother after nine months and the younger children returning home; Johanna’s move to Bochum, Germany, where she worked in a bakery and began to go to secret JW meetings and to distribute the “Watchtower”; the Gestapo arresting Johanna in February 1944 and imprisoning her for three months in the Steinwache before she was transported to Ravensbrück in April 1944; Johanna’s liberation in May 1945 and release one month later, at which time she walked to Berlin and secretly crossed the border to the western part of Germany where she found her mother and sister; Friedrich, Heinrich and Berthold being taken to a National Socialist Children’s home in 1939, where attempts were made to make them renounce their faith; the separation of the boys; Friedrich, who was forced to work for a blacksmith and ran away to his mother in 1940; Friedrich being taken away again and put to work in an education home for small children and was later able to join Heinrich in Nettelstadt where they both worked on farms; their mother finding Friedrich on the farm in 1945 and taking him home where most of the family reunited; and their younger child Berthold who is still missing.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Heinrich Waldmann
Johanna Waldmann
Friedrich Waldmann
Interviewer
Robert Buckley
Date
interview:  1990 May 25
Language
German
Extent
2 videocassettes (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..