Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date

October 2010

Creation Date


Publisher Information

Florida Holocaust Museum in conjunction with University of South Florida Tampa Library and Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center


1933-1945, 20th century, Antisemitism, Bernstein, Ellen, Crimes against humanity, Florida, Genocide, Germany, Holocaust survivors, 1939-1945, Jewish women, Jews, Kauffman, Jay, United States


Oral history interview with Holocaust survivor Ellen Bernstein. Bernstein was born in Bonn, Germany, in 1928. As a child in Germany, she experienced an increasing amount of antisemitism: she and her sister were not allowed to go to public school, children refused to play with them, and, in 1938, one of her father's customers announced that he could no longer frequent her family's business. After that incident, her father decided to immigrate to the United States. With the assistance of cousins who were living in New York, the family was able to leave Germany. Bernstein grew up in the United States and became a teacher. Maintaining her Jewish identity has been extremely important to her, and she is involved in numerous Jewish organizations as well as volunteering at the Florida Holocaust Museum. In this interview, she recounts her family's history in Germany and the United States, and describes some of the Jewish activities in which she has participated. Her son, Jay Kauffman, also participates in this interview.

Physical Information

1 sound file (73 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (28 p.)