This entry was written by Mona Althaus (* 1987)
Youth as a Jewess in National Socialism
Interview with a Jewish artist Mrs. W. (1928)
On October 12, 2004, I met a Jewish German (born March 2, 1928) and asked her how she had experienced the time under Hitler.
Hitler gets into power
It began quite " harmless ", with our names being entered into lists where every Jew had to register. In addition, the Jewish women and girls, men and boys received a second first name: Sarah and Israel. Everyone got a card with a photo, on which the left ear had to be seen.
In 1934, when I was six years old, I was trained in a village school in the district of Osnabrück, like any other child. The two teachers who taught us were very friendly and helpful. During the breaks I played with the other children and I participated well in the lessons. "
My sister Inge, who was trained in the summer, was treated as passively as I was in September. During the breaks, we, the only Jews on the school, were locked together with gypsies in a fenced yard. The other children insulted us by calling us names like "Judenschwein" (Jewish pig, or similar). This was very humiliating for us.
“Jew” marked store
None of the classmates or parents have protected my sister or me, or encouraged us, or at least shown their compassion in any form. My friends have turned away from me; I guess because of the influence of the parents, which was very painful. Except for my sister, I only had a single human trust, a teacher at school. But because of the tense situation during this time, I was avoided because of reprisals. He was worried about his job and I faced even more harassment.
After the class we were regularly attacked by boys on the way home. They came running behind us and shouted loudly at us throwing stones and insulted us.
We were only women at home, making our situation even more difficult and unsafe. For example, we could not understand why neighbors, with whom we have understood each other for years, would not have touched us from one second to the next. There was only one family that had been with us, but my mother did not want contact to prevent something from happening to her.
Jews on their march to concentration camp and gassing
Finally my father came home. After six weeks of forced labor, he was released with the order not to tell what he had experienced in the concentration camp. "
Escape to Holland
My sister Inge and I had the need to return to Germany to say goodbye to our grandmother. We were young, but no children, because these terrible experiences made us "small adults". With 10 and 7 years, on 05.05.1939, we did put our decision into action and drove to Germany alone.
At the Hamburg main station, we met our parents again by a fortunate coincidence. We were overjoyed and also relieved "
Escape from Germany
The new life
On April 30, 1945, Soviet infantrymen rifled their flag on the Reichstag in Berlin. This ended the war. I sat with my girlfriend in the cinema when I learned this wonderful news. I was euphoric, and we walked home with joy in our eyes, to our parents. "