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Oral history interview with Richard Schifter

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2001.137.80 | RG Number: RG-50.010.0080

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    Oral history interview with Richard Schifter


    Interview Summary
    Richard Schifter, born in Vienna, Austria in 1923, describes his parents being in Lublin, Poland in the early 1940s and living in the ghetto; his immigration to the United States from Vienna in December 1938 when he was 15 years old; his parents’ failed attempts to emigrate from Vienna; finishing college and joining the US Army; being in the T-Force in the 12th Army Group; training to an interrogator at Camp Ritchie in Maryland; going to England in June 1944; arriving at Omaha Beach (Normandy, France) in August 1944; being part of the 1st Infantry Division when they took Aachen, Germany in October 1944; remaining in Aachen for the winter of 1944-1945 and living in a townhouse with his group; interrogating the civilian population and his views of the Germans in Aachen; his interactions with the German military; finding the concentration camp Nordhausen; speaking Yiddish to the inmates; the inmates’ discomfort living amongst perpetrators; the crematoriums; only seeing male inmates; being involved with the United States Holocaust Memorial Council; not experimenting antisemitism while he was in the army; his views on Judaism and Israel; his political views being shaped by his early life; learning Yiddish in New York, NY; the Jewish experience and the sources of the Holocaust; the genocide of Jews, Romanies, and Armenians; speaking with former Dora inmates during the war; and his interactions with former inmates.
    [Note that the recording is damaged in part 2 from minute 8:25 to minute 21:00.]
    Ambassador Richard Schifter
    interview:  1980 May 12
    creation: Washington (D.C.)

    Physical Details

    2 sound cassettes (90 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

    Topical Term
    Anti-Jewish boycotts--Austria. Antisemitism--Austria--Vienna. Concentration camp inmates. Crematoriums--Germany. Holocaust survivors--United States. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Austria--Personal narratives. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Religious aspects--Judaism. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Study and teaching. Jewish families. Jewish soldiers--United States. Jewish youth--Austria. Jews, Polish--Austria. Jews--Austria--Vienna. Jews--Education--Austria. Jews--Identity. Jews--Legal status, laws, etc.--Austria. Jews--Persecutions--Austria. Jews--Segregation--Austria. Kristallnacht, 1938. Military interrogation--United States. Romani Genocide, 1939-1945. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Germany. World War, 1939-1945--Military intelligence--United States. World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Jewish. World War, 1939-1945--Veterans--United States. Men--Personal narratives.
    Personal Name
    Schifter, Richard.

    Administrative Notes

    The Fred Roberts Crawford Witness to the Holocaust Project coordinated and conducted the interview with Richard Schifter. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the tapes of the interview from Emory University.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 07:58:27
    This page:

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