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Oral history interview with Bernhard Witkop

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

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

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
1989 May 30  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
3 sound cassettes (60 min.).
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:58:59
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn511578