Oral History

Doriane Kurz describes appell (roll call) in Bergen-Belsen

Doriane's Jewish family fled to Amsterdam in 1940, the same year Germany occupied the Netherlands. Her father died after deportation to Auschwitz. After their mother was seized, Doriane and her brother hid with gentiles. The three were reunited at Bergen-Belsen, where they were deported via Westerbork. They were liberated during the camp's 1945 evacuation, when Doriane was 9. Her mother died of cancer soon after Doriane helped her recover from typhus. Doriane and her brother immigrated to the United States.


In the morning everyone had to get up very early and anybody over the age of fourteen or twelve or something had to go to work, and I guess we were lucky we were eight. Uh first there was a thing called Appell, which was...everybody had to quickly get dressed and run out to the big courtyard and line up by barrack and by number in straight lines and then we were counted, including the children, and on some mornings the count didn't check and the Gestapo, wearing those black boots and those jodhpurs and those, those hats with the visors that you, that they always wore, and always screaming, would keep us standing there until the count turned out the right way.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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