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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 Ravensbrück; 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).

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Jaeckel, Elsa
Rothschild, Ina
interview:  1981 November 10
4 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:10:42
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