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Oral history interview with Helga Horwitz

Oral History | Accession Number: 2013.294.42 | RG Number: RG-50.693.0042

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

Helga Horwitz, born in Berlin, Germany in 1927, describes her father and his men’s and boys’ clothes manufacturing business; living in the Grunewald neighborhood in an apartment building that provided gardens for each apartment; how the family was well-to-do and her father was very charitable, even taking care of two families; walking daily with her family in the forest; being sent to a Jewish school in 1933; her older sister; her father’s status as a decorated veteran of WWI; her Jewish and non-Jewish friends; how her parents always considered themselves Germans of Jewish faith; attending school until 1938 and not experiencing antisemitism, though her parents did; their experience on Kristallnacht; how her parents, out of fear, went to Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland) to see a great aunt and her father was arrested and deported to Buchenwald, where his lower spine was broken; hearing about the destruction of the synagogue; her father’s vow never to say anything about what occurred at the concentration camp when he was released; her mother’s attempts to find visas; her father’s hospitalization and being forced to turn over all the goods of the factory; being sent four visas from an aunt in Switzerland; being aided by the Joint upon arriving in Switzerland; working on a farm in the Alps and experiencing language barriers; her mother finding visas to North Africa, but being advised not to go there; having their Swiss visas extended by a gentile who was taken to jail soon after for extending visas for 1,000 other people who were in transit from Austria; contracting whooping cough from her sister; obtaining visas to Chile via her sister’s friends in Chile; concealing her cough during the journey; her grandmother also managing to get to Chile through the charity of the Joint; the death of most of her extended family; her mother’s work as a nurse in an immigrants’ home in Chile; going to school and learning to make artificial flowers; and studying mechanical dentistry and becoming a dental assistant.

Interviewee
Helga Horwitz
Interviewer
Sonia Brodsky
Date
2011 July 07  (interview)
Language
Spanish
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
1 digital file : MOV.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Fundación Memoria Viva
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:50:34
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn73271