Rachel Dror (01153/sdje/0048). Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, June 20, 2012 (Berlin). Interview: Lennart Bohne, Daniel Hübner, and Barbara Kurowska. Transcription and editing: Teresa Schäfer. Chapters 2.5 and 2.7.

English Translation

    Sequence I: 0:35:36-0:36:59 mins.
    []when I saw that, I immediately thought something bad must have happened. So I walked faster. And when I reached the intersection, there was an intersection close to where we lived and about here [gesticulates] was a newsstand. We used to buy our newspapers and magazines from this newsstand every day until this day, and the owner knew me. But he had newspapers piled up like this [gesticulates], and it looked like blood had been spilled on them or like they had been painted red. And it was the flames of the burning synagogues that had been set on fire on the night of November 9-10. And there was a huge crowd of people in front of it. You see my height, you know how tall I am, I had to crane my neck and still couldn’t see above people’s heads. The newspaper salesman recognized me and came over, he stood in front of me, hands on hips and said, “Hey, Jew girl, want to see how your synagogues burned, do you? ”, he was from Berlin. I thought, “synagogues burned?” I didn’t know anything. We had been asleep, no men came to our house, our house was not searched, everything was okay. So I immediately went back home[]

    Sequence II: 0:43:49–0:45:44 mins.
    We had to sell in 1933. But I was gone, I didn’t live at home at the time. And I didn’t know the new apartment yet. So I went there. My father didn’t have any keys. I couldn’t understand that at all. My father, an independent man. He rang the door bell and my mother opened the door, and behind her was my brother holding onto her skirt. And she said, “Abusch, it’s only Rachel,” Abusch was his nickname. “It’s only Rachel, you don’t need to be afraid.” For one night, at one thirty in the morning, my brother had been woken with an electric heater which stood on his nightstand. He only had a bed and a nightstand in his room, his clothes were in my mother’s room since he had only half a room, a narrow room. He had been woken with this heater, “Saujud [dirty Jew], get up!” He had a shock and lost his speech and only stuttered ever since. He was terrified every time he heard a noise, and he had seen my father [hit] by a stove handle, that was the people who broke in with an axe. The first thing they did with the axe was to chop off the handle of the oven door, it was an iron door, they chopped off the handle and threw it at my father. He got a bruise right here. And my brother saw all that! We didn’t have any glass, we didn’t have a chair, we didn’t have a t [able ]? – everything was gone! When I saw that, I thought, I’m leaving. I’m not staying here! My father said, “Where are you going?” “To Palestine!”

    Source Description

    These two sequences sequence I: 0:35:36–0:36:59 and sequence II: 0:43:49–0:45:44 from an interview with Rachel Dror discuss her experiences during and after the pogroms in Hamburg, where she was part of a group of Jewish youths preparing for life in Palestine, and also her subsequent return to her parental home in Königsberg [Kaliningrad]. This oral history interview was recorded on June 20, 2012 as part of the interview project “Sprechen trotz allem” [“Speaking despite Everything”] run by the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Survivors from towns in the former German Eastern provinces—such as Königsberg—or from German-speaking areas in central Europe with significant Jewish communities such as Czernowitz, Lemberg or Riga were interviewed for this project. The interview was held at “Ort der Information,” the exhibition space below the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. The interviewers were Lennart Bohne, a researcher at the Foundation Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, and Barbara Kurowska, a freelance research associate for the interview project. Daniel Hübner, freelance IT-coordinator for the interview project, was in charge of camera, lighting, and sound. The interview was conducted in German and runs to a total length of 130:05 minutes. There are two cuts, one due to a short break and a second one after a scheduled break after about ninety minutes. The interview was transcribed and edited by Teresa Schäfer, a freelance research associate for the interview project. The call number for the interview is 01153/sdje/0048.
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    Recommended Citation

    Rachel Dror (01153/sdje/0048). Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, June 20, 2012 (Berlin). Interview: Lennart Bohne, Daniel Hübner, and Barbara Kurowska. Transcription and editing: Teresa Schäfer. Chapters 2.5 and 2.7. (translated by Insa Kummer), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <https://dx.doi.org/10.23691/jgo:source-89.en.v1> [May 20, 2024].