Advanced Search
Viewing Record 1 of 1 

Atlanta, Georgia
November 15, 1995
16 pages

Joel Hecht recounts the experiences of his family during the Holocaust. He and his sister Amy made it to the United States. However, his parents, who were in Holland/The Netherlands were unable to get out and were deported to Westerbork transit camp and from there to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they perished. Joel’s parents were Richard and Edith Hecht. Joel was born and raised in Berlin, Germany where his father owned several furniture factories. They were upper-class and spent summers at their beautiful country house. The Hechts felt that they were Germans whose religion happened to be Judaism. Joel’s father was a veteran of World War I and felt that when Hitler came to power it would not last and that the Germans, who were a civilized people, would not tolerate it. When Joel was 18 Jews were banned from public school education and he was unable to attend university where he had intended to study law. He joined his father’s firm and worked in it until 1938 when it was ‘Aryanized’ and the family lost it. Joel and his sister, Amy, got visas for the United States but were not due to leave until 1939. However, when Kristallnacht occurred on November 9 and 10, 1938 the family knew they had to leave Germany immediately. They fled to Holland (The Netherlands) and settled in Amsterdam, where they felt they were safe. They were not. In 1939 Joel and Amy’s quota number came up and they immigrated to the United States, where they devoted themselves to trying to get their parents out as well. However, in 1940 the Germans invaded The Netherlands and his parents fell back under their control. Joel and Amy were unsuccessful is getting their parents out and both were arrested, sent to Westerbork transit camp and from there to Bergen-Belsen where both perished of disease and starvation.

OHC-Joel Hecht

Joel Hecht - Oral History

22 Related Subjects

Hecht, Joel

Holocaust Survivors

Concentration Camps: General
World War, 1939-1945


Transit Camps: Holland
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)

Iron Cross

Berlin (Germany)

Jews, German

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)


Westerbork (Transit Camps: Holland)
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945); Transit Camps: Holland

Bergen-Belsen (Concentration Camps: Germany)
World War, 1939-1945; Concentration Camps: Germany

World War, 1939-1945

Emigration and Immigration

United States

Hecht, Edith ( - 1945)

Hecht, Richard ( - 1945)

Furniture Industry and Trade

German-Jewish Relations

Kristallnacht, 1938

South Africa

Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Viewing Record 1 of 1
The Breman Museum 1440 Spring Street, NW Atlanta, GA 30309 678-222-3700
© 2014 William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.   Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use

This website is supported by a generous gift from the Jerry and Dulcy Rosenberg Family in honor of Elinor Rosenberg Breman.

Jewish Federation