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Signed testimony of Fridolin Wasserkamp

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2005.394.56 | RG Number: RG-50.834.0055

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    Signed testimony of Fridolin Wasserkamp


    Interview Summary
    Fridolin Wasserkamp, born circa 1928 in Braunschweig, Germany, discusses living with his grandparents; being Deaf; being raised Christian; doing numerous activities, including table tennis, swimming, and hunting; attending a Hitler Youth school for the Deaf; wearing Nazi armband on his uniform; his frequent visits to his parents and brother, who were living in a rural town; enduring bombings, rations, and seeking food on the black market; the plight of the German Deaf; the disappearance of Deaf Jews in his class and hearing he had been sent to a concentration camp but not knowing what that meant; becoming aware at age 13 of the Nazi law concerning the “Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases” (Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranken Nachwuchses); the arrival of a government letter in 1941 that demanded his sterilization and his grandfather responding to it; his Deaf father and brother also being forced to be sterilized; how his family was willing to go to the hospital out of a sense of community and their desires to help the Nazis; the objections from the local bishops; the sterilization procedure, which required him to be in the hospital for two weeks; how many in the Deaf school endured similar experiences but no one talked about it; getting married to a Deaf woman; receiving reparations from the German government; his life at the Hitler Youth school; his pro-Nazi and anti-Nazi teachers; being stopped on the street once by Gestapo and showing a pass verifying his enrollment in a Deaf school; his illegal association with his Polish girlfriend and providing her with black market cigarettes and alcohol while she was in forced labor; their communication through sign language; being prevented from promotion within the Hitler Youth because of his association with his Polish girlfriend; hearing forced laborers share stories of the horrors of camps and how he didn’t believe it; his deep regrets in having believed the Nazi message; his hope that it never happens again; and witnessing the lights of the Russian liberation bombings.
    Fridolin Wasserkamp
    interview:  1989 March 31
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ina R. Friedman

    Physical Details

    3 sound cassettes : analog.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Restrictions on use. Donor retains copyright. Third party use requests must be submitted to the donor.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Corporate Name
    Hitler Youth

    Administrative Notes

    Ina R. Friedman donated her oral history interviews to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on Aug. 8, 2005. Ms. Friedman is the author of "Escape or Die," "Flying Against the Wind," and "Other Victims," which explore the experiences of Jewish and non-Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:33:22
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