Oral memoirs of Ilse Williams: An interview conducted on February 7, 2023




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Ilse Williams was born in Cuxhaven, Germany in 1952. Eight years later, her family moved to Hanover, Germany. She lived there until she was twenty when she moved to the United States for her studies and eventually married a West Texas farmer. She graduated from Angelo State University in December of 1976 with a degree in English. After working a few odd jobs, being a mother, and working as a graduate assistant, she received her Masters's Degree in 1990 from ASU. Her primary connection to the WWII period is through her parents' experiences. She recounted that her parents were young teenagers in 1933, and so they were prime candidates for "conversion". She explained that many people involved in conflicts, like her parents, were often silent about their experiences. She recounted different intentional parts of her parents’ childhood that her father tied together later in his life. She revealed that her father was involved in the invasion of Poland and the German Atlantic coast in 1942-43. She noted that her father was interned between the end of the war and 1948. She explained that the time between 1945 and 1948 has been remembered as the worst years for Germany.


Includes photograph and transcripts.
contained in: Greatest Generation Oral History Archive