Oral History

Hanne Hirsch Liebmann describes harassment and anti-Jewish sentiment in Germany

Hanne's family owned a photographic studio. In October 1940, she and other family members were deported to the Gurs camp in southern France. In September 1941, the Children's Aid Society (OSE) rescued Hanne and she hid in a children's home in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. Her mother perished in Auschwitz. In 1943, Hanne obtained false papers and crossed into Switzerland. She married in Geneva in 1945 and had a daughter in 1946. In 1948, she arrived in the United States.


One of my other memories is the boycott of April 1933, where our show windows were plastered with "Jew" "Jew" "DON'T GO TO THE JEW!" And so on and so forth. These are really some of my childhood memories. Family life was great. Outside the family, it was not so good. You were insulted in the street many times. You were called "dirty Jew." Things like that. For several years, I did have Gentile girlfriends and, of course, under the pressure of the Nazi time they could no longer associate with me, and I would not dare associate with them.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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