Morris Zaidband

Morris Zaidband

Born: July 9, 1912

Oswiecim, Poland

Morris was one of five children born to a Jewish family in the Polish town of Oswiecim, 33 miles west of Cracow [Krakow]. Morris' father sold ladies' undergarments. Morris worked as a jeweler.

1933-39: In September 1939 Germany invaded Poland. Morris's family started to flee eastward but two weeks later the Germans overtook them and they were sent home. When they returned, the Germans were already beating Jews who didn't show them "respect." One day, when German guards came to their house to deport Morris's father, he asked them to wait while he got ready. The guards soon became suspicious and when he didn't return they burst into the next room where they found his father. He had hanged himself from the ceiling.

1940-44: In 1940 Morris was deported, and spent the next few years in Nazi labor camps. By 1944 he was in the Landsberg camp in Germany. There, in exchange for a privileged job, he offered a German guard a diamond that he had concealed in a false tooth. He assigned him to the laundry, where it was warm and he could get extra food. When he went to have the camp dentist remove the diamond, he said he couldn't get it without pulling a healthy tooth. Luckily, the guard let Morris stay in the laundry without demanding the diamond.

Later, Morris was deported to the Mueldorf labor camp. He was liberated by U.S. troops on May 2, 1945. After the war, Morris immigrated to the United States.

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