Isachar Herszenhorn (Irving Horn)

Isachar Herszenhorn (Irving Horn)

Born: February 25, 1927

Radom, Poland

Isachar was born to a Jewish family in the Polish city of Radom, approximately 75 miles south of Warsaw. The city was the center of Poland's leather-tanning industry. Isachar's father worked as a salesman for a nearby tanning factory. His father was a successful salesman and the family lived comfortably.

1933-39: During registration for Isachar's first-grade class in 1934, a Jewish boy was pushed down the stairs. When his mother confronted the principal about the incident, all he said was that the boy had no business being there. As the only Jew in his class, Isachar was beaten up often. It was hard to keep his mind on his work. After a year, he transferred to another school. Other Jewish boys studied there, so they at least had a chance to fight back.

1940-44: A ghetto was set up in Radom in 1941. Three years later, when Isachar was 17, he was deported to a subcamp of Natzweiler to build an airstrip. Desperate for food, he sneaked away from his work detail to a farm owned by a woman who cooked for the camp's German guards. About to reach into the produce shed, Isachar suddenly felt a gun in his back. "Hands up!" He turned around. "My God, you're only a baby," she said. "We're short on potatoes," she added quietly, and left. Taking garlic and carrots, he sneaked back to his detail.

In April 1945 Isachar was transported from Dachau into Austria where his guards deserted his column. Liberated by the U.S. Army, he immigrated to the United States in 1948.

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.