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Oral history interview with Hanns Stein

Oral History | Accession Number: 2013.294.85 | RG Number: RG-50.693.0085

Hanns Stein, born in Prague, Czech Republic on November 17, 1926, describes living in a small town called Nýrsko in the western border between Czechoslovakia and Bavaria; how German was spoken more than Czech in Nýrsko; his family attending synagogue on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur; taking Judaism classes in school; his father’s shirtwaist factory; attending a German school then a Czech school; attending the gymnasium that in Klatovy, Czech Republic; joining the Maccabi Hatzair; the Sudeten crisis in 1938; his fathering being mobilized as a reserves officer in the Czech Army; his family staying in Klatovy; the German occupation; his family’s desire to leave the country; getting visas for Chile; going to Prague to say goodbye to relatives; his father and uncle sending all the machinery for their factory to Chile; crossing Germany and being stopped at the border with Holland and being sent back into Germany; being harassed by Nazi youth; being treated kindly by some German SS officers; being detained at the border train station; getting visas for England, where they stayed for a year; the committee for Czech refugees in England; living in city near Liverpool in a large house where 7 families resided; the beginning of the war; the fate of his extended family and the survival of only his aunt and cousin, who later went to Israel; being invited by the Institute of Cultural Relations between Chile and Germany to give a concert of Schumann’s lieder with lyrics by Heine and refusing at first before his cousin convinced him to accept; his family arriving in Chile; joining the youth movement Hashomer Hatzair; playing soccer in England and wanting to introduce it to Chile, where it was already a popular sport; his schooling; deciding to work instead of completing his education; being employed as a cutter in his father’s factory; organizing a strike in the factory and being fired by his father; taking singing lessons; getting married; applying for a music scholarship in the Musical Conservatory in Prague and attending for two years; becoming a music professor in Chile in 1969; being fired in 1973 for having joined the Communist party; his feelings that Nazism and the Military Junta in Chile were not that different; going to Berlin, Germany, where he was offered a position at the highly esteemed Superior Academy of Music; being in Berlin for seven years; his children; resigning from the Communist party an returning to Chile; giving a concert at the Goethe Institut; the return of democracy to Chile; and the importance of art, especially while maintaining human dignity.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Stein, Hanns
Solowiejczyk, Ilana
interview:  2011 September 28
1 digital file : MOV.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Fundación Memoria Viva
Record last modified: 2022-06-16 10:13:26
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