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Oral history interview with Herbert Stern

Oral History | Accession Number: 2017.206.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0935

Herbert Stern was born on September 15, 1930 in Frankfurt Am Main in Germany to Nora Reis and Jacob Stern. He has three three older brothers: Julius (b. 1925), Martin, and Teddy (Theodore). Herbert discusses how his maternal grandparents operated the only Jewish hotel in Frankfurt, called the Hotel Ulmann; his parents meeting at the hotel; his parents marrying in 1924; his father changing careers from a traveling salesman to selling fabrics for a men’s textile business in Frankfurt; his family’s apartment and nanny; family vacations to Switzerland; seeing Nazis and Hitler Youth marching; getting stones thrown at him on his way home from Jewish Day School; his family being Observant; his grandparents’ hotel being destroyed during Kristallnacht; his father getting arrested during Kristallnacht, and being released a few days later to accompany an blind man home; his father fleeing to London on fear of getting arrested again; his family joining his father in London; immigrating to the United States with the help of his maternal aunt, and arriving in New York on 9 December 1938; his family moving to Washington Heights in Manhattan; attending school; his father working with his brother-in-law selling artificial flowers; his brother Julius leaving school to help provide for the family, and never completing his education; his brothers serving in the United States Army; getting drafted during the Korean War; relatives who remained in Europe perishing; his father death in 1968 and his mother’s in 1986; traveling to Germany and Israel in 1986. After the interview, the following photos were shown: 1. The family hotel on Bateman Strasse, 2. Moritz and Sara Stern, his grandparents, in Augsburg, 3. His father and the four sons: Julius, Martin, Teddy and Herbert, 4. Herbert’s wife Margo Stern shows a photo of Matilda Selman Kahn, Margo’s great-grandmother, who died in Baden-Baden in 1939.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Stern, Herbert
Interviewer
Navazelskis, Ina
Date
interview:  2017 May 08
Geography
creation: Englewood (N.J.)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
 
Record last modified: 2022-06-24 20:16:47
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn561469