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Oral history interview with Renate Mann

Oral History | Accession Number: 2013.276.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0229

Renate Mann (née Wollstein), born in Berlin, Germany on April 4, 1927, describes moving to Katowice, Poland in 1931 when her parents divorced; having a normal and happy childhood; becoming aware of the Nazi party in 1938 as party members were being chased by townspeople; moving to Krakow, Poland after the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939; being evicted from her home by the Nazis and moving to a suburb of Krakow where she, her mother, and stepfather lived in one room in a farmhouse; being forced to move into the ghetto at Krenau (Chrzanów), Poland after her mother died and her stepfather had been sent to a concentration camp; being sent first to Auschwitz in 1941 and then Hansdorf, a labor camp where she worked long days with 150 women in a factory making thread; the food situation at the next camp she was sent to as “too much to die from, too little to live on”; the day of liberation by the Russians on May 8, 1945; returning to Katowice and her stepfather putting her on the children’s transport to England in March 1946; staying in England until 1951, working as a domestic; going to New York, NY in 1956 and working for a gun wholesaler until moving to Toledo, OH, where she lived for 55 years; and how her experiences during the war have made her value human life and friendships much more, in spite of all the serious health problems she’s had that have limited her.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Renate Mann
Julie Kopel
interview:  2013 October 10
1 digital file : WAV.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:44:24
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