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Oral history interview with Hansrudolf Hauth

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.496.1 | RG Number: RG-50.160.0001

Hansrudolf Hauth, born on December 12, 1912 in Zürich, Switzerland, describes his background growing up as half Jewish (his mother was Jewish and his father Christian); having a lifelong mobility impairment as a result of rheumatic fever; his father, who went to Switzerland around 1900 to avoid military service and was a trained teacher but not allowed to teach because of his Social Democrat political activities; his father’s work as an editor for International Law in Zürich; the deportation and imprisonment of his father for one year in Mannheim, Germany for covering the bricklayers’ strike; his father’s return to Zürich in 1911 and marriage to a Jewish woman, a secretary in the Social Democrat party whose family was from Vienna and whose mother had immigrated to Zürich with her three daughters (of whom Hansrudof’s mother was the youngest) after separating from her husband; his older maternal aunt, who worked in Switzerland as a pediatrician; his other maternal aunt, who immigrated in 1937 to England where she worked as an economist; his mother’s death of kidney failure in 1914 at the age of 29 (he was 9 months old); moving with his father brother and 16-year-older sister to Stuttgart, Germany in 1915; his sister caring for his brother and him; his father exposing them to Social Democratic interests through theatre and later film; attending Karls Gymnasium in Stuttgart from 1919 to 1931; being an outsider as a Social Democrat; his interest in theology, which stemmed from his paternal grandmother who was Christian; being exposed to religious Social Democrats (Kutter, Ragatz, Eckert, Tellicht) through his father; attending the Markuskirche (a Protestant church) in Stuttgart one time; Professor Fauth, who was a liberal religious teacher at the Technical Secondary School in Stuttgart and broadened his interest in philosophy; beginning his studies in theology in 1932 in Tübingen; his father’s sudden death; being accepted into seminary; his “half-Jewishness” emerging as an issue as the political climate shifted; the book “Ich und Du” by Buber which was influential for both him and his brother; his brother’s death in 1933 from complications of asthma; finding solace and influence in theologians Blumhart and Bultman; passing his first exams in Tübingen satisfactorily; applying in 1938 to teach in Basel and his half-Jewishness and physical impairment preventing him from getting the job; working from 1938 to 1942 as an editor in Stuttgart; working briefly as a hospital orderly, and then working as a salesman for Bosch; how on November 10, 1944 70 Jews and half-Jews from Bosch were rounded up after Himmler’s decree and sent to a work camp in Wolfenbuttel; being sent back to Stuttgart to Bosch soon after; and how by the end of 1944 he had a great hope that the war would be over.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Hansrudolf Hauth
Date
interview:  1988 October 27
Language
German
Extent
2 sound cassettes (60 min.).
 
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:35:57
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn513361