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Oral history interview with Eleanor Weile

Oral History | Accession Number: 2018.13.1 | RG Number: RG-50.172.0001

Eleanor “Dicky” Ehrlich (née Weile), born June 6, 1922 in Berlin, Germany, discusses being an only child; her mother (Tilla Froehlich), who owned a store; her father (Julius Weile), who was a traveling manufacturer’s representative; witnessing Nazi parades; her friend whose parents were Nazi supporters; a major boycott in 1933 and her parents’ decision to move to Amsterdam; the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940; the civilian response to the German occupiers; the Dutch view towards religion; the deportations of Jews; receiving a letter in August 1942 to report to Gestapo headquarters; being detained along with her parents; being sent on March 23, 1943 to Herzogenbusch (Vught), where she made radio tubes for V-1 and V-2 rockets; her mother’s death from sickness on November 7; being sent to Auschwitz and arriving on June 6, 1944; being tattooed with her camp number; being transferred to Reichenbach (Langenbielau) on June 10, 1944; being requested by the Philips Factory because of her ability as a worker and how she believes that this saved her life; the acts of disobedience performed by the prisoners; damaging components of the radio tubes they were producing; her memories of the inmates and camp guards; her German friend in the camp, Gerda Witteck, who shared food with her; being moved to Langenbielau on February 20, 1945 and then forced to march to Trautenau, Czechoslovakia (Trutnov, Czech Republic); being transported by train in coal cars to Minden, Westphalia (arrived March 26, 1945); being transported to Beensdorf (arrived April 2, 1945) and remaining there for two weeks; being sent to Bergen-Belsen, which was full and would not let them in; going to Ludwigslust; going on an 11 night trip to Hamburg in a railway car, moving along much of the same tracks over and over; being forced to dig trenches; being liberated by the Swedish Red Cross on May 4, 1945; immigrating to the United States in 1948; and her reflections on the methods she used to survive the camps.

Interviewee
Eleanor Ehrlich
Interviewer
Corey Ray
Date
1995 October 04  (interview)
1995 October 13  (interview)
1995 October 27  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (90 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Corey Ray
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Record last modified: 2019-02-08 15:27:09
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn594392