Oral History

Norbert Wollheim describes a roundup of Jews in Berlin

Norbert studied law and was a social worker in Berlin. He worked on the Kindertransport (Children's Transport) program, arranging to send Jewish children from Europe to Great Britain. His parents, who also lived in Berlin, were deported in December 1942. Norbert, his wife, and their child were deported to Auschwitz in March 1943. He was separated from his wife and child, and sent to the Buna works near Auschwitz III (Monowitz) for forced labor. Norbert survived the Auschwitz camp, and was liberated by US forces in Germany in May 1945.


We, we were living, uh, in, in our own apartments at this time. In Germany you never had a ghetto, in Germany you never had ghettos. So, uh, we were living in our apartment and, uh, I had gotten some advice that I shouldn't go to my, to work--I was at this time part of the slave labor program in Berlin--and, uh, stayed at home with my wife, then-wife and child. And uh, uh, then, uh, uh, we somehow heard that in, in the morning the, uh, elite SS had, uh, occupied uh, the places where Jews worked in working groups, had taken them away, and, uh, then they came and appeared in the afternoon, ask us to get ready, and, uh, uh, we were not completely, fully surprised. But I remember my, my son was just sleeping. On the way out my wife asked these people, who by the way were not in uniform, to give them a few more minutes to get the child ready and so on. And, uh, they agreed, and then when we, when we left our apartment they sealed it with a, with a, with a eagle of the Nazi Reich, and walked us down. And then when we came down we saw a truck with SS guards with rifles. And for a moment, uh, that was, uh, uh, uh, not a, a, very discouraging and, and, and, but, uh, still we didn't know what they wanted, but, they, but then, uh asked us to, to ascend the truck and we found other people on that truck, which was completely covered, people from the out, inside couldn't see what's going on on the outside.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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