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Oral history interview with Helmut Bates

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.660 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0660

Helmut Bates (né Kurt Helmut Bachwitz) describes his long family history in Germany; his childhood in Berlin, Germany; his experiences with antisemitism under the Nazi regime; the events of Kristallnacht and how those frightening events caused his family to decide to leave Germany; his family's attempt to immigrate to Australia or Palestine and their successful immigration to Kobe, Japan in April 1939; his experiences in Kobe; the conditions for the Jewish community, which were mostly benign; his family's immigration to the United States in December 1940; being drafted to serve in the US Army Signal Corps; participating in the round up and internment of Japanese aliens and Japanese-American citizens and his service in Africa guarding German prisoners of war; the difficulties of his father in adjusting to life in the United States, the family changing its name from Bauchwitz to Bates, and the antisemitism and anti-German sentiments the family experienced; his marriage to a Jewish woman from Shanghai, China; and his life and career in California.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Helmut Bates
Anne Feibelman
interview:  1995 December 27
2 videocassettes (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties