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A Righteous Gentile

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A Righteous Gentile


Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)


Oral history video clip featuring John Rinde who survived the Holocaust. Taken from a video originally produced by University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program, for the Holocaust Survivors Oral History Project.


University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program


Holocaust Survivors Oral History Project


Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.




Rinde, John
Ellis, Carolyn
Patti, Chris
Duncan, Jane
Schmidt, Richard




video / mp4




Moving Image


Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)

Moving Image Item Type Metadata


Yeah, and because of that he’s recognized as a Righteous Gentile at Yad Vashem. Yeah. I mean, he took some risks. He wasn't necessarily hiding us in his house, which would have been really, really dangerous, but he took some risks. He did some vouching for my father, because there were rumors in the factory that he was Jewish, and some people tried to denounce—in kind of an awkward way, without being traced—that there was a Jew working in the factory, you know.

So, some police guys came and said, "We have a report that a Jew is working in the factory. We want to speak to the manager or the owner." My father was the manager. (laughs) So, he says, "Well, go talk to the owners." So, he spoke with the owner. The owner says, "I assure you, there are no Jews working here." So, he says, "Well, you know, we have a sure way of finding out. We’ll just have them all disrobe and see." So, the boss says, "Yeah, well, you could do that, but we work three shifts. If you do that to the first shift, if he works the second or third shift, he's going to fly the coop." He says, "Oh, yeah. Okay, then you look for it, and if you find any inkling, you let us know." He says, "Yeah, yeah, I will do that." (laughs) Of course, he never did.

So, he was helpful. He helped some of our aunts and cousins get jobs, you know, as maids either for him or other people. And of course, he paid my father more money than he legally had to. And as I said, my father was a sociable kind of guy and made friends fairly easily. And he made friends with the Germans, so whenever the workers in the factory would get into trouble, he would always go out there and bail them out. So, even though they may have suspected something, they wanted to have him around so that he could bail them out, you know.

One incident that he reports in his memoirs was this guy was caught doing something or other illegal, and they were going to deport him. So, he went to the Gestapo with a German-speaking fellow to plead his case, and they said, "No, you have to go." So, he went to my father and my father went there, and they said, "Well, he already was here. He already told his story." "Yeah, but he told you his story from his point of view. But I have to tell you the story from the factory's point of view. He's such an indispensable worker; if you deport him, we are going to have to cut our production by 20 percent. Now, what is the Wehrmacht going to say?" They said, "Well, well, all right, if you put it that way, we'll let him stay." And he pulled this kind of stuff several times, so the workers liked him and valued his services.

Original Format







University of South Florida Libraries, Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center


University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program, “A Righteous Gentile,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed August 5, 2020,