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Oral history interview with Ina Rothschild and Elsa Jaeckel

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.120 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0120

Ina Rothschild describes her life, education, and work in Germany after World War I; life through Hitler’s rise to power; experiencing changes in Jewish life after 1933 and the effects of certain events on the Jewish community and Jewish interactions with gentiles; Elsa Jaeckel’s husband, who was a gentile, refusing to divorce her and suffering the consequences; many instances of aid and acts of kindness by gentiles; Mrs. Rothschild and her husband running a Jewish orphanage in Esslingen am Neckar from 1933 to 1942 when they were deported; how the orphanage was ransacked on November 9, 1938; her husband being beaten, arrested, and then released to care for the displaced orphans; what happened to the children in their care; Mrs. Jaeckel having to work for the Gestapo with 600 other Jewish women who had gentile husbands; conditions for couples in mixed marriages and living through air raids in Frankfurt; avoiding the transport to Theresianstadt because her husband bribed a former SA man to let her hide in his house; hiding in the attic until the Americans arrived in 1945; the Rothschilds returning to Stuttgart after the closing of the orphanage and their lives, including her work in an old age home and her attempts to care for Jewish children; how many of the children, especially those with disabilities, were deported and killed at Ravensbruck; the Rothschilds being deported to an old age home in Theresienstadt on August 22, 1942; the journey and their arrival at Theresienstadt; the brutal treatment and living conditions in the camp and the improvement after the International Red Cross supervised the institution; seeing Reinhard Heydrich shoot Jewish prisoners; Mrs. Rothschild’s work as a nurse and her husband’s death in July 1944; how many inmates killed themselves; Mrs. Rothschild’s attempts to care for newborn babies; volunteering to care for 50 young Dutch children with typhoid fever together with a Jewish doctor; the children surviving and being adopted after the war; being transported to Switzerland with 600 people in February 1945; and their immigrations to the United States (Mrs. Jaeckel arrived in 1957 and Mrs. Rothschild arrived in 1947).

Interviewee
Elsa Jaeckel
Ina Rothschild
Date
1981 November 10  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
4 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, gift of the Holocaust Oral History Archive of Gratz College
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:02:09
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn515645