David P. Boder Interviews Charlotte Schultze; September 20, 1946; München, Germany

  • David Boder: [In English] Munich, September the 20th, 1946 [exactly ten years ago at the time of translation], at the transient UNRRA camp at the Funkenkasernen. The interviewee is Miss . . . eh, is Mrs. Doctor Charlotte Schultze, 47 years old, and she is a [words not clear]. She is an Aryan, married to a Aryan physician who was here during the war, because they . . . for various reasons we will hear. And her husband and eleven year old son are already across, and she is expecting now, from week to week, her affidavits to go over to the United States.
  • David Boder: [In German] Now, Frau doctor. [Whispers] You want to talk English, true?
  • Charlotte Schultze: No, German.
  • David Boder: You want to talk German.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes [?].
  • David Boder: Well, yes. Come a bit nearer so you won't have to talk too loud. Make yourself comfortable. [A few words more in whispers, not clear.] Now Frau doctor, will you please tell me again what is your name and where were you born?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Charlotte Schultze, from Dresden, born in Dresden, 1899.
  • David Boder: Yes. And who were your parents, Mrs. Shultze?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Director Bruno Zomack and . . .
  • David Boder: You are born [your maiden name is] what? Zomack?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Zomack, yes.
  • David Boder: And who . . . What was the occupation of your parents?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Well, my father was the director of a factory [hence his title].
  • David Boder: Yes. A bit nearer [to the microphone].
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes.
  • David Boder: And . . . now tell me please, where were you . . . where were you when the war started?
  • Charlotte Schultze: When the war started we were in Dresden. And we could not go back [to the United States], because my son of [my] first marriage was a German, and was not permitted any more to leave the country.
  • David Boder: Aha.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Because he was able to work.
  • David Boder: Now, would they not have let you go across alone? Permitted you to go?
  • Charlotte Schultze: I would have been permitted to go across, but I did not want to leave my son alone. No?
  • David Boder: You did not want to leave your son alone. And did your husband agree to it?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Oh, yes. I am not [word not clear; she apparently weeps].
  • David Boder: Now then, tell me please, how long . . . I understand that you have lived already once in America?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes.
  • David Boder: So when did you return to Germany?
  • Charlotte Schultze: In 1934, because my mother had died, and my father was nostalgic for us, and we then expected our little boy, and [chuckle] . . .
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . the grandparents wanted to live to see him [chuckle], no?
  • David Boder: Yes. And so you returned with your husband?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes.
  • David Boder: Where did your Herr Doctor Schultze study?
  • Charlotte Schultze: In Leipzig . . . doctor.
  • David Boder: He has studied medicine in Leipzig?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes, yes.
  • David Boder: Yes. Now, so you all returned.
  • Charlotte Schultze: We all returned, yes.
  • David Boder: Did you leave anything behind in America?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Well, we had [chuckle] . . .
  • David Boder: Did you have any property?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes, we left property behind.
  • David Boder: Where did you leave it? In Milwaukee?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes, in New York.
  • David Boder: What?
  • Charlotte Schultze: My husband had a life insurance there.
  • David Boder: Aha. Was he able to keep up this life insurance all this time?
  • Charlotte Schultze: No. That went on . . . on through loans. It . . .
  • David Boder: Oh, it was possible through a loan on the insurance . . .
  • Charlotte Schultze: To maintain it further in force.
  • David Boder: . . . to continue paying for it.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Maintain it in force.
  • David Boder: Yes. And you came here. And did your husband resume again the practice of medicine?
  • Charlotte Schultze: First he attended courses, true? That is what we had really come for.
  • David Boder: Hm.
  • Charlotte Schultze: But then we were detained here by the illness of his father . . .
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . who had to go through an eye . . . a difficult eye operation, and due to that we at first could not return.
  • David Boder: What is the doctor's speciality? Did he have any?
  • Charlotte Schultze: No. He practiced . . .
  • David Boder: General . . . general practice.
  • Charlotte Schultze: In general, a practicing physician.
  • David Boder: Now would you please tell me what happened when . . . when the war started?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes. We remained here then, and . . .
  • David Boder: You lived in Dresden?
  • Charlotte Schultze: We lived in Dresden. My husband practiced, and . . .
  • David Boder: You told me before that something happened with your boy, with your older boy? Will you please tell me about it.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes. My son was then the only one at school who did not belong to the Hitler Youth, and since my husband treated many Jewish patients, so he [the son] had a friend who was a Jew, and due to that we had a lot of trouble. And at the end of the first year of war he attempted to cross the Swiss border with his friend in order to open the road for us [to make it possible for us] to return to America, because he knew that he was . . .
  • David Boder: The obstacle.
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . the obstacle. No?
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: But he was arrested at the Swiss border. He was thrown in jail for three months. Then I fetched them both in Bregenz.
  • David Boder: Hm.
  • Charlotte Schultze: And from then on we were more or less under the surveillance of the Gestapo.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Then the boy went into the labor service. There he made a second attempt to leave the lager, but was again returned. Then he was drafted in 1941.
  • David Boder: As a soldier?
  • Charlotte Schultze: So. And he was so unhappy there. He believed [felt] he could not serve such a cause.
  • David Boder: So.
  • Charlotte Schultze: At any rate, in 1941, he again left his platoon, attempted to cross the Italian border, because an American clergyman who was there, the minister of the church with whom he was very friendly, of whom he knew that he was serving in the church of the embassy, a certain clergyman by the name [name not clear] Wolf . . .
  • David Boder: Hm.
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . from Elmira.
  • David Boder: He was an American clergyman?
  • Charlotte Schultze: An American clergyman?
  • David Boder: From Elmira, New Jersey.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes, with whom he was very, very friendly.
  • David Boder: Yes. [Recollecting] Elmira, New York.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes.
  • David Boder: Nu, yes. And?
  • Charlotte Schultze: And . . . now we assume that that was the reason that he went across the Italian border.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Now from there on we don't know anything more. At any rate the Gestapo brought us his things, and asserted that he had shot himself.
  • David Boder: Oh. The Gestapo brought you his things.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes. But I still don't know until this day . . .
  • David Boder: Did he not leave a letter?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Nothing. [Pause.]
  • David Boder: Tell me, why did the Gestapo bother altogether to bring his things?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Hm. That we don't know. At any rate, only after three weeks, after we had made inquiries [word not clear], only after more than three weeks, we got the first word just that he was dead, and that he was buried on Italian soil.
  • David Boder: Oh, on Italian soil.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes. Possibly . . .
  • David Boder: Well, yes. At that time the Italians were already the allies of the Germans. True? It was Mussolini's Italy.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes.
  • David Boder: Aha. Now tell me, you then . . . And your younger boy, how old was he?
  • Charlotte Schultze: The boy is now eleven years old.
  • David Boder: Eleven years. This one was never in America?
  • Charlotte Schultze: No. We arrived here in October, and he was born in December.
  • David Boder: He was born in December.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Hm.
  • David Boder: And what was the doctor doing here all the time?
  • Charlotte Schultze: He practiced in Dresden.
  • David Boder: He practiced in Dresden as a physician.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Practiced.
  • David Boder: Could they not draft him?
  • Charlotte Schultze: No. He maintained all the time his American citizenship. For that reason he did not get anything [any patients] assigned from the 'sickness insurance', and . . .
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes.
  • David Boder: He was born an American?
  • Charlotte Schultze: He was born there. Yes.
  • David Boder: Yes. A German, he would not have been permitted . . . Tell me, if a German would have become an American citizen, the Germans would not have recognized it?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes. But he was naturalized [where?]. Although he was born there . . .
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . he had returned as a child.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Charlotte Schultze: And then he became naturalized. [She is apparently confused.]
  • David Boder: Again?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Because due to that he had lost his citizenship.
  • David Boder: Because he had returned as a child?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Please? [Pardon?]
  • David Boder: Because he was returned as a child?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes. Because . . .
  • David Boder: He was brought back by his parents?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes, yes.
  • David Boder: Aha. So. Now tell me, you say you lived in Dresden.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes.
  • David Boder: How were things going on in Dresden? I heard so much from people who were in lagers. I have heard so little from people who were free.
  • Charlotte Schultze: We had nothing. [Pause.]
  • David Boder: How was life there?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Well, for us personally, we just were not permitted to leave the city.
  • David Boder: Why?
  • Charlotte Schultze: On account of our citizenship.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: True? Well, otherwise we were all under strict surveilance. [Chuckle.] Nobody could say what he wanted.
  • David Boder: So, yes. Did you keep your radio?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes, we were permitted to keep the radio.
  • David Boder: You could keep it.
  • Charlotte Schultze: We were just not permitted to listen to foreign transmitters. That means I used to do it, but I had a head-set. [Chuckle.]
  • David Boder: Oh, you had ear . . . [phones].
  • Charlotte Schultze: A head-set.
  • David Boder: A head-set. And so you could more or less . . . Did you believe what the foreign transmitter . . .
  • Charlotte Schultze: I could listen to it every evening, and for that reason we were oriented about everything.
  • David Boder: Aha.
  • Charlotte Schultze: And since my husband had very many Jewish patients we were also oriented about everything that was going on. He had a patient who came from Buchenwald, whose skull [scalp?] was completely battered up and so on. A certain doctor. A certain Doctor Magen . . .
  • David Boder: Oh, a doctor who was in Buchenwald?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes.
  • David Boder: How come they let him out?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Well, they locked him up for a short time, since he was the father of the boy with whom my son at times . . .
  • David Boder: Has gone away.
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . had crossed the border.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: This Herr Doctor Magen was then sent to Buchenwald, and then they set him free again. And a year later he was arrested again, and he was so unhappy [in such despair] that he took his own life in his cell. He tore his underwear and hanged himself.
  • David Boder: That was that Doctor Magen.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes.
  • David Boder: And what happened to his son?
  • Charlotte Schultze: And his son, too, attempted to reach again the Swiss border, but was caught and was put . . .
  • David Boder: Did you . . . Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . into a concentration camp, and in a few weeks they sent to the mother and the daughter, who had still survived, the underwear with a notice that he had died.
  • David Boder: Hm.
  • Charlotte Schultze: And then the mother and daughter were taken to a barracks, and later on to Poland. Since then we never heard anything from both of them.
  • David Boder: And the husband? He took his life . . .
  • Charlotte Schultze: He took his life.
  • David Boder: Where?
  • Charlotte Schultze: In jail [?], still in prison, because he learned that he would be taken again to the concentration . . . concentration camp. No?
  • David Boder: Aha.
  • Charlotte Schultze: The man was in such despair that he . . . [pause]
  • David Boder: Tell me please, how was it in general with sui- . . . suicide? Were there many?
  • Charlotte Schultze: [With deliberation] Well, about that I could not tell much. Among the Jewish people naturally very many, because my husband was often called to patients, and among them to a Frau Pick . . .
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . who lived not far from us, an old, very fine lady of 70 years. Mostly they took their lived with veronal.
  • David Boder: With veronal, the sleep [remedy] . . .
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes, yes. My husband was also called to a Mr. Fisch at the time when there was a transport to Poland.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: And the man was gravely ill and was supposed to be sent away that night to Poland. And so my husband personally called [telephoned] the Gestapo and . . . and . . .
  • David Boder: Told [them].
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . reported that it was impossible that this man . . .
  • David Boder: Be taken.
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . be taken. No? So then only the sons were transported [sent away], because they were Poles, that is they were never in Poland.
  • David Boder: Yes. [Just] Polish citizens . . .
  • Charlotte Schultze: They were born in Germany, no? The people were then disembarked there at the border, and . . . [See Matzner, Chapter 10.]
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . and nobody cared about them.
  • David Boder: Now tell me. You also associated [were friends] with Germans, true?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes.
  • David Boder: And what was the German attitude toward the whole Hitler affair.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes. We had, of course, the feeling that very, very few were for Hitler.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Because I knew that, from the practice of my husband, hardly one per cent were Nazis.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: It is, of course, possible that these [chuckle] did not come to us.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: No? [Chuckle.] Because they knew first of all that my husband was an American, and secondly they knew our [political] orientation.
  • David Boder: Hm. Now tell me, was it known what was going on in the concentration camps?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Oh well. I think [to] the majority of people—no.
  • David Boder: Hm. You believe the majority . . .
  • Charlotte Schultze: No, no, they did not know.
  • David Boder: Now . . .
  • Charlotte Schultze: If we . . .
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: If we had not heard a great deal by accident from our patients, we, too, would not have know it.
  • David Boder: Didn't some Gestapo people come home and tell about it to their relatives?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes. Well . . .
  • David Boder: It is not possible to have covered it up so completely.
  • Charlotte Schultze: That I don't know. At any rate, everyone was threatened with punishment by death.
  • David Boder: Every Gestapo man?
  • Charlotte Schultze: [Words not clear.] Nobody could speak [openly]. One had to be so cautious. I, too, was often afraid when my husband would return late from his calls [chuckle]. That something might have happened to him [chuckle].
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Because often he spoke too frankly.
  • David Boder: Aha.
  • Charlotte Schultze: It was . . . it was . . . everything was so frightfully dangerous. There across in America no one can from for himself any idea about it, how [heavily] we stood under control, and how the whole population lived.
  • David Boder: Well. [Pause.] Tell me, did you retain your maids during the war?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes, yes.
  • David Boder: And what kind of a person was she? What, for example, did you learn from her? What kind of ideas did she express?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Oh, I had a very nice girl from Finster . . . from the proximity of Finsterwalde, from a little village. The parents had a farm, and they were completely oriented against Hitler. So that in this manner we did not have to gag our lips.
  • David Boder: It was not dangerous [?]?
  • Charlotte Schultze: No. We could speak very frankly, because her parents were oriented in the same manner as she. From this angle we were not in danger. I also had a cleaning woman who took care of the laundry and such things. Her husband was entirely against Hitler, as well as she. In this manner, of all our neighbors, all of our acquaintances, nobody was in favor of the system.
  • David Boder: Now tell me, who then was for the system that it took on such [abrupt end of Spool 136B] . . .
  • Herman Barnett: [In English] Spool 137 recording starts in about one minute. Spool 137 recording starts in about one minute. This is Herman Barnett.
  • David Boder: Spool 9-137A. The conclusion of interview with Miss Charlotte Schultze. Spool 9-137B will contain the interview with Jürgen Bassfreund—a part of it.
  • David Boder: Munich, September the 20th, 1946 in a transient camp maintained by the UNRRA. The interviewee is Miss . . . Charlotte, Mrs. Charlotte Schultze, the wife pf a physician already in the United States and we have yet a short conclusion.
  • David Boder: [In German] Now tell me, we were discussing again the Germans, let us say, what they knew about Hitler, the concentration camps, and the war. Now what did they think about the war?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Now that is hard to tell. Everybody hoped that the war would be over soon . . . will come to an end, and everybody hoped near and far that the events that may come to be in case of Nazi victory, will fail to happen [the wire for the last sentence is not clear].
  • David Boder: Hmm.
  • Charlotte Schultze: As sad as it may sound I was really in most cases . . .
  • David Boder: Did they not feel that Germany was attacked and must now defend itself?
  • Charlotte Schultze: No. About that it was clear to everybody that Hitler was the one who attacked.
  • David Boder: Nu. Tell me, if the mood was such, how can one explain the strength, the large number of SS [presumably volunteers], the large number of SA [volunteer Storm Troupers], the constant large rallies when Hitler was speaking, and so on?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Well, the people were simply ordered to it [compelled to act that way].
  • David Boder: For example, who?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Well, all the schools had to come and had to yell. The Hitler Youth was ordered out, all the industries had to march as closed units, and had to yell heil Hitler. Nobody had, any more, his own will, except for some of the free [independent] professions.
  • David Boder: And what free professions were those?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Well, the lawyers and people who were not organized.
  • David Boder: Now, what to you think . . . Now I want to ask you one more question. Is it, in your way of thinking, is it true that the Germans at present are actually not so badly off?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Well, of course. In the American Zone we have . . . we can't complain, after all.
  • David Boder: You mean the German public in general?
  • Charlotte Schultze: In general, because I think that the enemy is very decent towards us, in complete contrast to that which we were [how we behaved] in other countries.
  • David Boder: Now . . .
  • Charlotte Schultze: Because we have heard about countries . . .
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . which nearly perished from starvation when our occupation was there, because everything was removed from other countries, while in our case there is still something left [last words not clear; chuckle].
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: [Chuckle.] So we have to be very thankful.
  • David Boder: Now tell me, how do you explain it, that the main value [of exchange] here consists of cigarettes? [Pause.] How does that come about?
  • Charlotte Schultze: The . . .
  • David Boder: Do people have really such a strong desire to smoke that they are willing to give so much [in return] for cigarettes?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Now about that I can hardly speak, because I myself do not smoke. And so I . . .
  • David Boder: Well, yes. But, for example, one pays off a porter with two cigarettes [the porters at the railroad stations as well as the other services were all on fixed salaries]. One gives the waitress a tip of two cigarettes. What do they do with them?
  • Charlotte Schultze: She apparently sells them on the black market.
  • David Boder: Who buys them.
  • Charlotte Schultze: [Chuckle.] That I don't know. Not I. [Laughter.]
  • David Boder: Well. Now tell me what can one barter out for two cigarettes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: That I can hardly inform you about, because I just don't [one almost feels that she is afraid that the interview may have some official purpose.]
  • David Boder: Well, but you also get here [officially in the UNRRA camps] paid in cigarettes, and so on.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Well, maybe they [words not clear].
  • David Boder: Yes, but they themselves [the DPs and German traders] do not want [to accept] any money. They can't get anything for the money].
  • Charlotte Schultze: [Whispers] Well, I don't know that either.
  • David Boder: Now well. Do the peasants barter for cigarettes?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Surely they, too, because they are heavy smokers.
  • David Boder: And they give quite a bit for them?
  • Charlotte Schultze: They give a lot for them. I heard that someone paid 90 marks for a package of cigarettes [the official exchange, as far as I remember, was about 10 marks to the dollar, or less].
  • David Boder: 90 marks?
  • Charlotte Schultze: 30 [?] marks.
  • David Boder: Nu, yes. One pays in France about 150 to 175 franks [official exchange of 117 franks to the dollar].
  • Charlotte Schultze: Hm. Well, that is something that most people would be unable to understand.
  • David Boder: Hm. Now tell me something else. How do you explain that most of the Germans are so well dressed?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Hm. Many still had reserves, those who have preserved their homes, but most of the people are really not so well dressed any more. Most of the people were bombed out and had lost everything.
  • David Boder: Now what has become of all the clothing which was taken from the Jews, let us say in Theresienstadt, and was taken away everywhere before they were transported? [See Mr. Schlaefrig, Chapter 26.]
  • Charlotte Schultze: Well, you must consider that the warehouses [?] were bombed out, that all the things went up in flames.
  • David Boder: So that you think . . .
  • Charlotte Schultze: So everything is gone. Take for instance, Dresden.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Dresden is completely destroyed, and with it all the clothing and everything. We, for instance, got out of our home only with that which I had on my body. Everything else was gone.
  • David Boder: Oh, you were bombed out in Dresden?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Completely bombed out.
  • David Boder: When did that happen?
  • Charlotte Schultze: On the 13th of February, '45.
  • David Boder: What was there, an air attack? By whom?
  • Charlotte Schultze: I don't know. It was at night.
  • David Boder: At night?
  • Charlotte Schultze: And whooo!
  • David Boder: And there was a big bombardment.
  • Charlotte Schultze: There was a big bombardment.
  • David Boder: And where did you and your family go for safety?
  • Charlotte Schultze: We were in a common shelter at the railroad station.
  • David Boder: Ah.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Dresden had not a single bunker. It was completely without protection.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Only the governer had a large bunker for his family.
  • David Boder: How come that here they had not dug bunkers?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Well, that depended on . . . on the Gauleiter [governor appointed by the central government].
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: On him [?].
  • David Boder: Now then. You went to the railroad station. But that was the most dangerous place?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Well, yes. We were first in our cellar, at the first attack.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: But then our house was not damaged. There fell only incendiaries in the neighborhood.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Then we went to the suburb to see our old parents.
  • David Boder: Your parents or those of your husband?
  • Charlotte Schultze: My husband's parents. My father-in-law had died then at the age of 84 after the attack.
  • David Boder: Hm.
  • Charlotte Schultze: My mother-in-law is still alive at the age of 78.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Also my father [is still alive]. And when we went to the station [?] to get home there was a second alarm.
  • David Boder: [Words not clear.]
  • Charlotte Schultze: There was no more time [words not clear]. So we had to take refuge in the railroad station, in the railroad station's shelter.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: And . . .
  • David Boder: Was the railroad station's shelter underground?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Underground.
  • David Boder: Those must have been the tunnels [for pedestrians] which are [located] underground.
  • Charlotte Schultze: No, no. These were the shelters of the administration of the government bank.
  • David Boder: Ja.
  • Charlotte Schultze: In a large all-brick house.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Very large. There stood [word not clear]. To be sure, hundreds of people have perished. And by a miracle we got out, that is my son, my little one, and I. We climbed out after all clear [?] through a break [in the floor?] . . .
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: And . . .
  • David Boder: Your husband?
  • Charlotte Schultze: My husband returned only the next morning at eight.
  • David Boder: Aha.
  • Charlotte Schultze: So all day we thought my husband was dead, and he thought that we were dead.
  • David Boder: You didn't . . . he did not know that you got out.
  • Charlotte Schultze: No. We met only the next evening.
  • David Boder: At home.
  • Charlotte Schultze: No. In the meantime our house, too, was gone.
  • David Boder: Oh, the house was gone.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Completely demolished.
  • David Boder: Hm.
  • Charlotte Schultze: His office was completely demolished.
  • David Boder: Hm.
  • Charlotte Schultze: The house of my parents-in-law was gone.
  • David Boder: Hm.
  • Charlotte Schultze: And the house of my father. We were all completely bombed out.
  • David Boder: So Dresden was really so [badly] hit?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes. It is completely destroyed.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: The whole [word not clear] city. My brother, too, is dead, and all my women friends . . .
  • David Boder: How come? Was your brother killed in the bombardment?
  • Charlotte Schultze: He, too, passed on. He, too, perished.
  • David Boder: And what happened to the [your] old people?
  • Charlotte Schultze: My parents-in-law still extricated themselves from the rubble.
  • David Boder: Oh, the house was bombarded and you got them out?
  • Charlotte Schultze: Yes, completely.
  • David Boder: And?
  • Charlotte Schultze: And then they came as far as Cologne, to their home city.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: And there my father-in-law found one night his doom due to a weak heart. Strangely enough he left Thuringia as a young man of 20 years [of age].
  • David Boder: Hm.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Then to Sweden.
  • David Boder: Hm.
  • Charlotte Schultze: Then to America.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: And on the day of his death . . .
  • David Boder: Again in Thuringia.
  • Charlotte Schultze: . . . landed again in Thuringia [incorrect: Cologne is not in Thuringia, but is in the Rhine province] in order to die there.
  • David Boder: And your mother-in-law?
  • Charlotte Schultze: My mother-in-law still lived in Coburg.
  • David Boder: Hm.
  • Charlotte Schultze: We took her then to Coburg so that she could remain in the American Zone.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Charlotte Schultze: You see [?]? so that she would be in contact with us.
  • David Boder: Aha.
  • Charlotte Schultze: And Dresden belongs to the Russian Zone.
  • David Boder: And who supports her?
  • Charlotte Schultze: For the time being she has enough to live on, and we hope [chuckle] that we will be able from there to send here somthing to eat. Maybe . . .
  • David Boder: Aha. Did your acquaintances from America send you anything during this time [after the armistace]?
  • Charlotte Schultze: No. We received letters, but since everybody hoped that we shall soon return, they thought it not worthwhile [hearty laughter], and that is why . . .
  • David Boder: [Cordially] Well, now, you will soon be in America.
  • Charlotte Schultze: We hope . . .
  • David Boder: [In English] This concludes the interview with Mrs. Charlotte Schultze, wife of a physician, hm, what they call here a German Aryan, who is now in the United States with the child, and will probably send over the affidavit for the wife . . . for his wife. We conclude the interview at 8 minutes of the counter index. An Illinois Institute of Technology wire recording. Munich, Germany. September the 20th, 1946.
  • David Boder: [In German] Thank you very much, Frau doctor.
  • Charlotte Schultze: There you are then . . .
  • David Boder: [In English] This concludes Spool 137A. The other part will be Spool 137B and is the beginning of Bassfreund's story. It may be advisable since we have only 8 minutes on this spool to combine this one with 136B and have Mrs. Charlotte Schultze all on one spool. But we will leave that for further checkup. Boder. October the 13th, 1950. MH156.
  • Contributors to this text:
  • Transcription : Dagmar Platt
  • English Translation : David P. Boder