Oral History Interview with Erica Van Adelsberg

Erica Van Adelsberg (née Herz), born in Munich, Germany in 1928, describes her assimilated, liberal Jewish family; leaving Germany with her parents and younger brother in 1932 to live in Aerdenhoudt, Holland; living comfortably and the decency of the Dutch people; how in 1940 after the German occupation, her family was designated as being stateless; being forced to move and conditions worsening; being sent to Westerbork internment camp in 1942; continuing her education and being trained as a laboratory technician at age 14; becoming part of a Zionist youth group, which heightened her Jewish identity in contrast to her parents' assimilated orientation; life in the camp, including her friend's wedding as well as the weekly transports to Auschwitz; being sent with her family on February 15, 1944 to Bergen-Belsen; the camp routine and her work in a plastic pipe factory; the cruelty of the Polish Kapos; contracting with para-typhoid for several weeks with no medication; the family being transported by train in April 1945 with about 600 others for two weeks; enduring bombings by Allied planes; being liberated by two Russian soldiers on horseback in Trbitz, near Leipzig, Germany; the Russians setting up a hospital and caring for the survivors, many of whom succumbed to typhoid fever; how six weeks later the Americans took her family back to Holland, where her brother became the first to celebrate a bar mitzvah after the war; going to the United States in 1946; and attending a Quaker school.

Date: 12/08/1981
Interviewer: Lucille Fisher
Interviewee: Erica Van Adelsberg
Language: English
Subject: Concentration camp inmates--Medical care.
Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives.
Jewish youth--Europe--Societies and clubs.
Jews, German--Netherlands.
Soldiers--Soviet Union.
Typhoid fever.
Women concentration camp inmates.
World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Netherlands.
Women--Personal narratives.
Aerdenhout (Netherlands)
Leipzig (Germany)
Lower Saxony (Germany)
Munich (Germany)
Netherlands--History--German occupation, 1940-1945.
Trebitz (Wittenberg, Germany)
United States--Emigration and immigration.
Adelsberg, Erica Van, 1928-
Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp)
Westerbork (Concentration camp)
Location: Germany: Munich
Aerdenhout, Netherlands
Westerbork concentration camp
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Trebitz, Germany
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-erica-van-adelsberg/