Speaker: Northern, Dora, 1923 - 0, Interviewee, Female, Retired shopkeeper
Speaker: Hyde, C, Interviewer, Male
Summary of interview item: Describes childhood in Prenzlauer Berg area of Berlin, Germany, 1920s, mentioning drunk father, local housing, food. Mentions communist uncle serving ten years in a detention camp. Describes changes during rise to power of Adolf Hitler: learning different handwriting at school, saying 'Heil Hitler', antipathy of parents to Hitler although father found work under new regime, anecdote of meeting Dr Goebbels at Christmas party. Mentions relations with Jewish people the family knew, brief memories of Jesse Owens at Berlin Olympics, 1936. Various anecdotes illustrate everyday life leading up to outbreak of World War II (WWII). Comments that she wasn't politically minded. Describes job in Rugen, an island in the Baltic Sea, mention of reaction to bombing raids there and in Berlin. Moved to Isle of Sylt as Russians advanced, 1944, describes situation at end of war when left British camp to return to Berlin. Recalls apprehension at meeting Russians, train journey, atmosphere in Berlin, job cleaning bricks, not talking about the war with other people, work at a magazine, ease of movement between sectors which later changed. Describes rationing, trade in food, attitudes to Russians, being assualted by Russians, making plans to leave, details of how escaped from Berlin. Talks about arriving in Melton Mowbray, various anecdotes illustrate language & culture difficulties, meeting husband, wedding day, cutting self off from Germany. Describes starting clothes alteration business, becoming integrated. Recalls meeting mother later in Germany, visiting east Berlin in 1987 and finding it very different. Reflects on how she has changed, reaction to discovering horrors of WWII. Talks about travels in Europe looking at lace.
Place of birth: Berlin, Germany
Marital Status: Widowed, Children: None
Father's Occupation: Shop keeper
Mother's Occupation: Caretaker
Location: County: Leicestershire
Location: Town/Place: Melton Mowbray
Periods Covered: 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s
Recording Date: 23/11/2004
Playing time: 5 hrs
Access Restrictions: Full clearance Item Copyright: EMOHA
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