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Oral history interview with Henry Werner Bloch

Oral History | Accession Number: 2017.203.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0932

Henry Werner Bloch was born on March 11, 1914 in Duisburg, Germany to Emma David and Ludwig Bloch. He had one brother, Fritz (b. 1905). He discusses his father serving in the German Army during World War I; growing up in Mannheim, Germany; his father working for the family business making kitchen cabinets; his brother working for the business; his family not being religious and considering themselves German; specializing in language during high school; not experiencing antisemitism before Hitler came to power in 1933; his father’s business suffering after 1933; getting drafted into the German ARmy Reserves; wanting to emigrate from Germany against his family’s wishes; immigrating to the United States aboard the SS Columbus with help from a distant relative in the U.S.; staying with relatives in Newburgh, New York; his brother’s apartment being destroyed during Kristallnacht; his brother immigrating to the United States in 1940 and settling in Washington, D.C.; unsuccessful attempts to get his parents visas; his parents getting deported to Gurs concentration camp; his brother Fritz contacting Senator Hamilton Fish who arranged for their release; his parents immigration to the United States in 1943 and settling in Manhattan; working in his cousin’s clothing factor in Newburgh, a small lumber yard in Manhattan, and a larger company in Brooklyn; getting drafted into the United States Army in 1943; marrying Hilda Lazar Katzenberg; getting sent to the University of Pittsburgh to study Russian and then to Camp Albert C. Richie in Maryland for intelligence training in interrogation; arriving in England in June 1944 and his unit connecting to the French Army from Normandy to Strasbourg, liberating Paris, and helping free King Leopold of Belgium; getting assigned to General Patton near the end of the war; discovering jewels hidden by the Germans in caves; liberating Dachau; moving to Newburgh with his wife after getting discharged; and working in the lumber business.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Henry W. Bloch
Interviewer
Ina Navazelskis
Date
interview:  2017 May 02
Geography
creation: Fresh Meadows (New York, N.Y.)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
 
Record last modified: 2021-11-30 08:26:58
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn561464