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Oral history interview with Helga Gross

Oral History | Accession Number: 2003.485.3 | RG Number: RG-50.718.0003

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

Helga Gross, born in 1923 in Hamburg, Germany, discusses being diagnosed as Deaf when she was a child; her memories of when Hitler came to power in 1933; her parents’ attention to her and her siblings’ educations; a brother who was also Deaf; the presence of a lot of music in the house; her parents' encouragement to sign and not always lip-read; going to school until she was 14; working as a weaver at age 16; the bombings in Hamburg; the destruction of her home in a fire; being told when she was 11 that she would have to be sterilized; her forced sterilization at age 16; the surgery and her parents’ reactions; not realizing the significance of being sterilized until moving to the United States in 1954 and seeing her sister's baby; refusing to join the Nazi Party; carrying the papers to join the Nazi Party but never signing them; the end of the war; being prevented from coming to the U.S. at first because she and he husband were Deaf; her husband, an Olympic swimmer; how her husband had been sterilized without anesthetic; learning American Sign Language; and her Deaf brother who was not sterilized and his children. The recording includes pictures from her childhood in Hamburg.

Interviewee
Helga Gross
Interviewer
Stephen Stept
Date
2003 January 22  (interview)
Extent
3 videocassettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-06-14 08:48:06
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn60511