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Oral history interview with Steen Metz

Oral History | Accession Number: 2016.296.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0898

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Steen Axel Metz, born on May 5, 1935 in Odense, Denmark, describes growing up in a family of assimilated Jews; his father (Steen Axel Metz) and mother (Magma Hildesheim); living in an apartment; having many friends, who were mostly not Jewish; the occupation of Denmark on April 9, 1940; starting school in 1941; seeing German soldiers walking the streets; getting around town by bicycle; the lack of antisemitism from other Danes; the Danish experience during the war; the escape of 7,000 Jews from Denmark before a major roundup in Copenhagen; the fates of members of his extended family; being arrested with his parents and taken to a schoolyard along with 60 other Jews; being deported by cattle car to Theresienstadt, where they remained for 18 months; staying with his mother while his father was placed in a separate barrack; not seeing his mother often because she had to work; volunteering as a messenger, which allowed him to get additional food rations; the curfews; his father’s death in 1943 from starvation and his subsequent cremation; being part of a group of children who were forced to dump cremation remains in the river; the beautification efforts made to make Theresienstadt look good for visiting Red Cross representatives; receiving packages from Denmark; the deportations to Auschwitz; the liberation of Thereisenstadt by the Russians on May 8, 1945; being taken by bus with his mother out of the camp; staying in Copenhagen for a few days before returning to Odense; his mother’s remarriage in 1951; graduating high school in 1953; moving to another town and joining the armed forces; working for an international company and living in Toronto, Canada, where he met his future wife; visiting the Ghetto Museum at Terezín in 2009; writing a memoir (it was published in April 2011); and speaking to various groups about his experiences during the Holocaust.

Interviewee
Mr. Steen Metz
Interviewer
Ina Navazelskis
Date
2016 September 26  (interview)
Geography
creation : Lincolnshire (Ill.)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
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Record last modified: 2018-11-07 13:55:35
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn550878