Oral History Interview with D. S. Anonymous

D. S., son of a Jewish banker and a Protestant mother, was born in Berlin in l928. He stayed in Berlin until l948. He discussed his family’s history, his education and how their life as Jews changed and became increasingly restricted after l935. Non-Jewish relatives broke off contact until after the war ended. He briefly describes Kristallnacht. His father’s business and property were confiscated. D. S. and his father were arrested and detained at Rosenstrasse for one week and saw the Rosenstrasse Action by non-Jewish spouses of the prisoners. His family was forced to move into rooms shared with two other families. After the Jewish schools were closed, D.S. worked for the Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland for several months until the entire staff was deported in vans. He was spared because of his non-Jewish mother and believes that this is why his father survived. He became a bar mitzvah in l94l. D.S. and his father were assigned to a labor camp in Berlin in l942. D.S. resisted the Germans through sabotage while in the labor unit and as a member of a small resistance group composed of young men from mixed marriages. He describes life during the Battle of Berlin and powtwar under Russian occupation. D. S. completed his education in a German high school. He could no longer endure life in Germany and came to the United States in l948, helped by HIAS. His parents remained in Germany, but his mother joined him after his father’s death. D. S. cites personal encounters to prove Germans knew what happened to Jews in the camps as well as a few incidents of help from non-Jews. He talks about his feelings about Germans and his determination to fight antisemitism.

Date: 02/22/1982
Interviewer: Josey G. Fisher
Interviewee: D. S. Anonymous
Language: English
Subject: World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Jewish
Location: Berlin, Germany
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-d-s-anonymous/