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Oral history interview with Arthur Danziger

Oral History | Accession Number: 2017.10.1 | RG Number: RG-50.963.0001

Arthur Danziger, born October 24, 1926 in Magdeburg, Saxony, Germany, discusses starting school in Germany September 1933, after Hitler had come to power, and being the only Jewish boy in school; the humiliations he suffered at the hands of classmates and teachers who were generally party members and who provoked cruelty against Arthur; street fights between communists and Nazis in working-class neighborhoods before Hitler came to power; how the adults in town had no qualms beating up Jewish children; his father, who was a store owner and had to close his store due to boycotts and vandalism by Germans; his mother being arrested and deported to Poland in October 1938 after being arrested by the SS because her mother was in Poland when she went into labor; his uncle sending money so that his parents could leave Germany after the war began; his education ending when he was age 10 because Jews couldn’t stay in school; his sister leaving on the Kindertransport and going to Whittingham and serving in the British Army; the Nazis coming and mistakenly not realizing Arthur’s father was "stateless" and not arresting him; witnessing Kristallnacht; the Nuremberg laws in 1935 and how they marginalized Jewish adults in Germany; his being taken off the Kindertransport train at the Holland border by his uncle in August 1939 and not seeing his father again until 1946; his feelings about being without his family at the age of 12; how Dutch children antagonized him for being German; his inability to shake feelings of inferiority and still being haunted by nightmares; his description of the cat-and-mouse game of hiding from the Nazis while in Holland; being in a Hachshara for Jewish “orphan” children for two years and trained for agriculture for Israel; escaping the Hachshara when they got a tip that the children would be deported to camps in 1942; his struggles against starvation throughout the war; being hidden by a group of Montessori teachers and a principal who rescued Jewish children (not mentioned by name but he is talking about Johan "Joop" Westerweel, honored as a righteous Christian); the fate of others he was with; the number of families in Rotterdam who risked their lives hiding him; taking on the identity of a deceased non-Jewish boy and being sent to the Dutch countryside since hiding was becoming near impossible in 1943; the hardship of working on farms; being arrested in August 1944 by Germans to work in slave labor; escaping the Germans during an Allied air raid just before they were to be handed over to the SS; his liberation by Allies in September 1944 before the Winter of Hunger ("Hongerwinter"); his decision to go to Israel after the war and first stopping in France; and his feelings of guilt for surviving when so many others in his family and community died.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Arthur Danziger
Jack Needle
2 videorecording : MOV.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Dale Daniels on behalf of the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education, Brookdale Community College
Record last modified: 2020-08-03 11:26:30
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