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Oral history interview with Edith Hartog Mayer

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.364.0001

Edith Mayer (née Hartog), born on June 17, 1923 in Aachen, Germany, describes her father, who was a member of the Reichsbund Juedischer Frontsoldaten and considered himself to be a German first and a Jew second; Kristallnacht on November 9-10, 1938, at which time her two brothers were arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned in Oranienburg; boarding at a Gymnasium for Jewish girls in Cologne when her brothers were taken; returning to Aachen; the Hartogs’ purchase of false papers for immigration to Santo Domingo for 50,000 Reichsmarks, which enabled them to free the two imprisoned brothers in December of 1938; fleeing with her family to the Netherlands in January 1939; being assisted by a Jewish refugee organization upon their arrival and soon settling in Rotterdam; her brothers living at the Westerbork refugee camp; the German invasion of the Netherlands on May 9, 1940; her father’s imprisonment in downtown Rotterdam and his death during a massive German air raid; fleeing with her family to Maastricht, Netherlands; being sent to Westerbork; the deportation of her mother to Theresienstadt in 1943 and her own deportation to Theresienstadt soon after; doing forced labor in factories around Theresienstadt until the factories were closed toward the end of 1943; the deportations of her brother, uncle, and mother to Auschwitz; remaining in Theresienstadt until the camp's liberation; traveling to Prague in June of 1945 and learning that her eldest brother had survived Auschwitz and was returning to the Netherlands; her younger brother surviving the war in the Netherlands; becoming a physical therapist after the war; and immigrating to the United States in 1947.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ms. Edith Hartog Mayer
1 sound cassette (90 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Edith Hartog Mayer