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Oral history interview with Helen Collins

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.671 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0671

The interview describes Ms. Collins's childhood and young adulthood in Mannheim, Germany, the assimilated nature of life there, the effect of Hitler's rise to power on her family, including her father's loss of his job, and the family's early explorations of immigration to Palestine or the United States. Ms. Collins recalls the events of Kristallnacht in November 1938, her father's imprisonment in Dachau and his later release, and the family's forced move to a ghetto in Stuttgart, Germany. She describes emigrating from Germany in 1939 to England and then the United States, her experiences in New York City, in Berkeley, California, where she moved in to join her brother in December 1941, and where she met her husband and married in 1952.

Ms. Collins describes learning of the death of parents - her father in a ghetto and her mother in Auschwitz, receiving restitution for family property seized, and being invited to Stuttgart by city officials and the Jewish-Christian Society. She reflects on how the events of the Holocaust changed the course of her life.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Helen Collins
interview:  1990 October 18
1 videocassette (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
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:52:42
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