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Oral history interview with Herman Haller

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

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.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Haller, Herman
interview:  1989 January 13
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:09:40
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