Oral History

Morris Kornberg describes forced labor beginning after the German invasion of Poland

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.


As I can remember, right away from the beginning, it was like a, a law of the German called the commissar, who was in charge of the little town, called us over and he said that we all, from 13, aged 13 to 50, we have to, uh, perform labor. Every day we have to go, to the, to do some work. We used to go to the, the Jewish Kulturgemeinde [community center]. Over there we have been assigned like mostly cleaning, taking away old brick, cleaning up--ah, yes, it didn't make any different--but in the evening we had been allowed to go back at home. Later on they assigned me, mostly mine age from the, from the city, to, uh, Steinbruch [breaking stones]. We used to mine stones. Those stones had been for the, for the roads, they built new roads and so those stones went to the roads, and so, uh, this was pretty heavy work, everything. But still I was pretty young and healthy and I got adjusted, and I, and I did my work.


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