Jewish Heritage Collection: Presentation by Rudolf Herz

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Title:
Jewish Heritage Collection: Presentation by Rudolf Herz
Interviewer:
Rosengarten, Theodore
Date:
2001-02-23
Description:
Rudolf "Rudy" Herz shares his story of survival with students at the College of Charleston in a presentation for Professor Theodore Rosengarten's class, "History of the Holocaust." Growing up in Germany, Herz remembers being made to feel different from German Christians because he was Jewish. Just eight years old when Hitler came to power in 1933, Rudy found Nazi propaganda confusing. He notes that German society made "a totally seamless transition from religious hatred of the Jews to a racial hatred of the Jews." He describes the harassment and persecution Jews experienced at the hands of the storm troopers and the increasingly harsh restrictions placed on them, leading to loss of their rights as citizens, loss of jobs, and exclusion from society. His family was living in Cologne at the time of Kristallnacht in 1938. Rudy recounts the events of that night, the family's unsuccessful attempts to flee Germany, their transport in 1942 to the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia, and subsequent transfer to Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Rudy was selected to work in Schwarzheide, Germany, rebuilding a factory that was routinely bombed by Allied Forces, and was later transferred to a labor camp in Lieberose, Germany, then to Sachsenhausen on the outskirts of Berlin, and finally, in February 1945, to Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in Austria. Besides describing the details of what he and his fellow prisoners endured, he explains why Hitler's platform appealed to the German people and answers questions about his loss of faith in God and his sense of Jewish identity. He relates how he immigrated to the United States, where he found his brother, and recalls his post-war visits to Germany. For related information, see the Rudolf Herz papers (Mss 1065-050), Special Collections, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston.
Collection:
Jewish Heritage Collection Oral Histories
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Oral Histories
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Auschwitz (Concentration Camp), Theresienstadt (Concentration Camp)
Topical Subject:
Jews--South Carolina--Interviews, Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), Holocaust survivors--Germany, World War (1939-1945)--Atrocities
Language:
English
Shelving Locator:
MSS 1035-251
S.C. County:
Horry County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:
audio/mpeg, application/pdf
Digitization Specifications:
Mp3 derivative audio created with Audacity software. Archival masters are wav files.
Preferred Citation:
Rudolf Herz, audio presentation with Theodore Rosengarten, 23 February 2001, Mss 1035-251, Special Collections, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.
Copyright Status Statement:
© College of Charleston Libraries
Access Information:
For more information contact Special Collections, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424.