Oral History

Morris Kornberg describes arrival at Auschwitz

Morris grew up in a very religious Jewish household and was active in a Zionist sports league. When the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, Morris's town was severely damaged. Morris's family was forced to live in a ghetto, and Morris was assigned to forced labor. After a period of imprisonment in Konskie, a town about 30 miles from Przedborz, Morris was deported to the Auschwitz camp. He was assigned to the Jawischowitz subcamp of Auschwitz. In January 1945, Morris was forced on a death march and was sent first to the Troeglitz subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp and then to Theresienstadt. After the war, he stayed for a time in Czechoslovakia and Germany before immigrating to the United States.


And they'd start the beating right away, from the Gestapo and SS, they have been stayed around ... and whoever passed by, didn't make any different, it was no other choice than beating, beating, beating. And finally we came into the camp, and then we saw already those, uh, concentration camps uniforms, striped ones. We all saw Kapos, and they start to tell us, "Here is Auschwitz." They told us, "Here you cannot live long. If you live a day, or you live two days, is about all how long you live here." The same way, they kept on chasing us, beating us, chasing us, beating us, and I went, they took the pictures of me, like a criminal, from all ends, odds and ends. They took my clothing, they told me to put it in a bag where it was written my name. Then we went, they shaved our head, then, and always beating, wherever you go, every step. Then we went to disinfection, it was a, a huge big bowl full of chlorine, water with chlorine, they ... us in over there and this meant disinfected. Then it meant that we should go for clothing, and we, the same way, wherever you went, wherever you step, you made, kept on beating and beating.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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