SynopsisRoger H. was born December 3, 1919 in Göttingen, Germany. He describes his family. He describes the small Jewish community and his Orthodox Jewish upbringing. He discusses his education and experience of antisemitism in school. He recalls how economic boycotts affected his family’s business. He describes moving to Hamburg for work. He describes Kristallnacht in Hamburg. He describes how his father was attacked and both his parents were arrested in Göttingen. He describes visiting his mother (who had been released) and his father, who was still in custody. He explains that he had kept in correspondence with a man from England after his Jewish youth group had visited in 1936. This man helped Roger leave Germany. He describes meeting him in Scotland. He describes how his sister was able to leave for England with the help from an uncle. He recalls being unable to find work in the United Kingdom as a German immigrant. He recalls being able to correspond directly with his parents until the outbreak of war. After this, they corresponded via Holland and then via the United States. He describes learning that his parents were deported to Riga, where they perished. Roger describes his experience being categorized as a refugee. He describes managing a hotel and working illegally. He discusses his reasons for joining the army as part of an auxiliary unit. He describes being deployed to France and then was drafted into various British units in London and Wales. He describes completing officer training and changing his surname. He describes his service in the Middle East and Burma. He describes requesting to be transferred to Germany after the war so that he could research what happened to his parents. He discusses his perception of Germany after the war. He describes living in England after his de-mobilization and meeting his wife. He describes their immigration to South Africa. He describes sharing his experience with his children and his involvement in the Jewish community of Cape Town. Roger shows an envelope with the address his family used to send correspondence via Holland.
RightsThe University of British Columbia | Holocaust Documentation Project | Principal Investigator: Robert Krell, M.D. | Consent to Record and Retain Records (fn: Under the auspices of the Standing Committee on the Holocaust and Canadian Jewish Congress - Pacific Region) on file
NoteTestimony simultaneously recorded on video and audio cassette.
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.