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Oral history interview with Harry Kennedy

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.334 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0334

Harry Kennedy discusses his early life; his birth in Cologne, Germany; his infancy and young childhood in an orphanage; his adoption by the Kahn family in Mannheim, Germany; his childhood in Mannheim, including school and religious life; his expulsion from his soccer team shortly before Kristallnacht in November 1938; the events of Kristallnacht in detail; his father's absence in Switzerland and his mother's in the hospital during Kristallnacht; arriving home to find his home ransacked; witnessing the destruction of Jewish homes, stores and synagogue; being sheltered by a neighbor; his mother's decision to send him to New York; his trip to Switzerland in 1939 where he met his father, and then to Italy where he traveled on the S.S. Saturnia; boarding the ship; the interrogation of himself and other passengers by French soldiers; his arrival in New York City; living with an Italian family; learning English and attending night school; learning in October 1940 that his mother and grandmother had been deported to Gurs concentration camp; his desire to enlist in the Army, which was delayed by the family he lived with who refused to sign the enlistment papers; enlisting when he turned 18; becoming an American citizen before he was deployed as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division; changing his name to protect himself; the campaigns he participated in, including D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, and being involved in the liberation of a small concentration camp near Gottingen; his life after the war; visiting his father in Switzerland; returning to New York where he studied at New York University and worked in Army intelligence; his marriage and family; and his career in the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Harry Kennedy
Interviewer
Hilde Gattmann
Anne G. Saldinger
Date
interview:  2001 March 28
interview:  2002 May 13
Language
English
Extent
2 videocassettes (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
 
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:33:45
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn509575