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Oral history interview with Herman Haller

Oral History | Accession Number: 1991.A.0117.3 | RG Number: RG-50.044.0003

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

Herman Haller describes growing up in Berlin, Germany; his Polish parents and their furniture store; his two brothers and three sisters; living a comfortable middle-class life until 1933; anti-Jewish boycotts; his parents divorcing and his father moving to Palestine; not being allowed to attend public school and going to a Jewish school; Kristallnacht in 1938 and the destruction of the synagogue; going with his brothers to Antwerp, Belgium in December 1938 then Paris, France in January 1939 and returning to Antwerp; being helped by a Jewish organization and staying with Jewish families; the Nazi invasion of Belgium; his aunt and mother going to London, England; the deportations from Belgium; ration cards and finding a job in a bakery; being taken on a passenger train to Somme, France; being forced to help build a wall along the coast; contracting typhoid; being marched to the train station and sent to Brussels, Belgium then Malines; the journey to Auschwitz and arriving in the camp; the Kapos; taking classes on bricklaying and building a factory; working in the factory, making tools; passing messages between men and women in the camp; befriending Claire Haymond, with whom he is still friends; an underground plan to blow up the crematoria; the punishment of those who participated in the sabotage; being evacuated on January 18, 1945 and sent on a death march to Reichenau (possibly Rychnov nad Kněžnou, Czech Republic); being loaded onto cattle cars and sent to Gross-Rosen; conditions in Gross-Rosen, digging trenches for the dead; being marched to Hirschberg (Jelenia Góra, Poland), where they stay in the camp for a few days; being taken by train to Buchenwald in March 1945; receiving help from the political prisoners; being liberated on April 11, 1945; the Americans evacuating the sick people to Weimar, Germany, where they were put in a school that had been converted into a hospital; being sent to Belgium in May 1945; finding his brother and mother; and going to the United States in 1947 while his brother went to Palestine and his mother remained in London.

Interviewee
Herman Haller
Date
1989 January 13  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:39:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn512467