Oral History

Edward Adler describes arrest and imprisonment in prewar Germany for his relationship with a non-Jewish woman

Edward was born to a Jewish family in Hamburg. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws prohibited marriage or sexual relations between German non-Jews and Jews. Edward was then in his mid-twenties. Edward was arrested for dating a non-Jewish woman. Classified as a habitual offender, he was later deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, near Berlin. He was forced to perform hard labor in construction projects. Edward had married shortly before his imprisonment, and his wife made arrangements for their emigration from Germany. Edward was released from custody in September 1938 and left Germany. He stayed with relatives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and later immigrated to the United States.


They also, at the same time a law took effect that did not allow a Jewish person, male or female, to go with a gentile person, male or female. At that time, I was going with a nice young lady that I had gone with for some time, and we were out camping, I remember very well. I had a kayak, and we went out camping near Hamburg, and there was a fellow and, next to us, near us, in another little camp with a tent, we slept in tents. He wanted to make a date with this young lady that I was going with, and she didn't want any part of it. He reported me to, to the Gestapo, and I was arrested for going with a gentile girl. I got six months in prison, solitary confinement in 1935.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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