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Oral history interview with Otto Hertz

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.919 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0919

Otto Hertz discusses his childhood in Goch, Germany; his bar-mitzvah in 1916; the assimilation of Jews into German society; the general acceptance he and his family felt in their community; his work in the family department store; his memories of inflation in the 1920s; hearing about Nazis in 1925; the changes in attitude toward his family after Hitler's rise to power in 1933; his father's death in May 1938; witnessing the destruction during Kristallnacht in November 1938; his arrest along with other Jewish men; being transported to Dachau concentration camp, where he was incarcerated; the terrible conditions during his imprisonment; his release in December 1938 after his brother was able to obtain papers for him to leave Germany for Cuba; his marriage in 1939; being forced to report to the Gestapo; leaving Germany for Holland, where he spent four weeks before leaving for Cuba, where he received his visa to the United States; his move to the United States in October 1939; adjusting to his new life in Chicago; the difficulties he encountered in getting a visa for his wife; being reunited with her in April 1940; his attempts to bring his mother to the United States; learning later of his mother's death in Theresienstadt; moving to San Francisco to join his brother; and his marriage, family, and work life.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Otto Hertz
Peggy Coster
Daniel Harris
interview:  1991 March 21
interview:  1991 May 14
interview:  1991 August 22
3 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
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:36:53
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