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Oral history interview with Hanna Silver

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.123 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0123

Hanna Silver (née Bornowski), born on February 14, 1910 in Berlin, Germany, describes living and working in Berlin with her mother during the Nazi period, World War II, and the allied occupation; her mother’s death during an air raid and burial in a mass grave; life in Berlin during and after World War II, during which they were deprived of the bare necessities of life; living in Berlin during WWII without posing as an Aryan, due to her determination, some luck, and help and protection from her neighbors and other non-Jews; how a German policeman helped her to get an identification card not stamped with a "J"; the effect of air raids on the general population, the total devastation in Berlin and how she and other survivors tried to cope during days and nights spent in air raid shelters, completely cut off from the outside world; heinous acts committed by Germans against their own people near the end of the war; how she felt after the final air raid, and still managed to go on after her mother was gone; how she felt when her home and everything she owned was gone; life in Berlin under joint occupation by Allied forces; the behavior of Russian troops, including an interesting vignette of why the people in her building were not molested by the Russians; being in the American sector and speaking English; working for the Red Cross as a photographer and having her own shop; getting married to an American officer she met during this time; the names and fates of relatives who were killed or survived; why she was able to cope and how her experiences in Berlin affected her outlook on life; and her attempts to pay back America through her volunteer work.

Interviewee
Hanna Silver
Date
1995 April 25  (interview)
1995 May 09  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, acquired from the Gratz College Hebrew Education Society
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:02:31
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn515648