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Oral history interview with Bernhard Witkop

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1993.A.0095.95 | RG Number: RG-50.163.0095

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    Oral history interview with Bernhard Witkop

    Overview

    Interview Summary
    Bernhard Witkop, born on May 9, 1917 in Freiburg, Germany, describes being raised by a Catholic father and Jewish mother; being baptized as a Catholic; his mother’s move to Bavaria in 1935 and his parents’ divorce in 1936; living with a cousin; being considered a mischlinge by the German government and not being allowed to attend university; his mother being forced out of the country and winding up in Holland; working on his Ph.D. in Munch, Germany in 1939; being rejected for an American visa in 1940; moving in 1942 to Freising as conditions worsened in Munich; living in a farmhouse and doing lab work in a technical high school; the destruction of his records in Munich during the bombardment; not registering with the government; Professor Heinrich Wieland getting him an identity card to show he was an employee at a pharmaceutical company on the Rhine; being liberated by Americans in May 1945; getting married and contacting his mother in Holland; becoming a university professor in 1946; how his friend, Hans Heiman, arranged a position for him at Harvard; sailing on the Ernie Pyle from an UNRRA camp in Bremen, Germany to New York, NY; his Mellon fellowship at Harvard from 1947 to 1950; being a visiting professor in Japan; and how he considers himself a devout agnostic.
    Interviewee
    Bernhard Witkop
    Interviewer
    Gail Schwartz
    Date
    interview:  1989 May 30

    Physical Details

    Language
    English
    Extent
    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
    Ernie Pyle (Ship)

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The interview with Bernhard Witkop was conducted on May 30, 1989 as part of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington's oral history project to document Washington, DC area survivor's experiences of the Holocaust. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the interview on May 26, 1993.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:20:07
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn511578

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