Testimony by

Gerda Feldsberg

Gerda was eight years old when she was suddenly attacked on the playground after the Anschluss by other children – and their parents.

Gerda Feldsberg at the age of five (Vienna, 1935)

"..and she told me that it wasn’t her fault, that she had to do it"

My parents often went to the theater, the opera and concerts. My dad, however, always fell asleep. Everything would have been fine, if Adolf [Hitler] hadn’t arrived! In Porzellangasse there was a candy store with five steps leading up to it, and every day after school I bought some sweets there. One day, like every other, I went in there, put my schilling on the counter and took some candy. But the shop assistant just threw me out. I thought she was joking, or that maybe she thought I didn’t want to pay, so I went back in and said to her, ‘I have money!’ Whereupon she took me to the door and pushed me down the steps.

When I returned to Vienna for the first time after the war, I met her by accident and she told me that it wasn’t her fault, that she had to do it.

"They wanted to beat me and drag me out of the sand-box"

I had a wheelbarrow and a doll carriage and my mother always took me to Votivpark. There I played with other children in the sand-box, while the mothers sat together, chatting. I remember one day – it was in 1938 – when I wanted to play in the sand-box as usual.

All of a sudden some boys pounced on me, and within an instant the parents had arrived as well. They wanted to beat me and drag me out of the sand-box. My mother, who had been sitting on a bench, jumped up, grabbed me and ran away with me. I was very surprised at my mother because I thought she should tell these people that they weren’t allowed to do this to me.

Big photo above:

Gerda Feldsberg with her mother Zerline [Stella] in the Vienna Votivpark

Photo taken in:

Vienna, Austria (1934)


Gerda Feldsberg

Time of the interview:



Tanja Eckstein


Learn more about Gerda Feldsberg?

The complete biography of Gerda Feldsberg you can find here.

You can also find many more photos of Gerda Feldsberg and her family in the Centropa photo database.


Want to learn more about the November Pogroms?

The reports and films featured on this site are just a glimpse into the multi-faceted history of the November Pogroms in 1938. We’ve put together an extensive directory of resources to help you deepen your knowledge.

The image in the background shows a destroyed shoe store in Vienna on November 10, 1938
(Photo: Wiener Library/DöW F. Nr. 6392)

Further testimonies

Paul Rona

Paul Rona was less than seventeen years old when he and his father were arrested on pogrom night. Paul was released but his father was deported to a concentration camp.

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Heinz Klein

Heinz Klein was deported to a concentration camp the day after the November pogroms and flew to Palestine immediately after his release.

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Sophie Hirn

Sophie Hirn was nine years old when she experienced the November pogroms. She reports on how being excluded by the Nazis ultimately strengthened her relationship to Jewish tradition.

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