Category: Oral History

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  • Abraham Lewent describes food shortages after the invasion of Warsaw

    Oral History

    Like other Jews, the Lewents were confined to the Warsaw ghetto. In 1942, as Abraham hid in a crawl space, the Germans seized his mother and sisters in a raid. They perished. He was deployed for forced labor nearby, but escaped to return to his father in the ghetto. In 1943, the two were deported to Majdanek, where Abraham's father died. Abraham later was sent to Skarzysko, Buchenwald, Schlieben, Bisingen, and Dachau. US troops liberated Abraham as the Germans evacuated prisoners.

    Tags: Warsaw
    Abraham Lewent describes food shortages after the invasion of Warsaw
  • Guy Stern describes losing a friend to membership in the Hitler Youth

    Oral History

    Guy Stern was born on January 14, 1922, in Hildesheim, Germany, into a Jewish family. As a child, he attended a German school, where he had many non-Jewish friends.  Beginning in 1933, the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls had an important role to play in the new Nazi regime. Through these organizations, the Nazi regime planned to indoctrinate young people with Nazi ideology. This was part of the process of Nazifying German society. The aim of this process was to dismantle existing social…

    Guy Stern describes losing a friend to membership in the Hitler Youth
  • Abraham Lewent describes hunger and death in the Warsaw ghetto

    Oral History

    Like other Jews, the Lewents were confined to the Warsaw ghetto. In 1942, as Abraham hid in a crawl space, the Germans seized his mother and sisters in a raid. They perished. He was deployed for forced labor nearby, but escaped to return to his father in the ghetto. In 1943, the two were deported to Majdanek, where Abraham's father died. Abraham later was sent to Skarzysko, Buchenwald, Schlieben, Bisingen, and Dachau. US troops liberated Abraham as the Germans evacuated prisoners.

    Tags: ghettos Warsaw
    Abraham Lewent describes hunger and death in the Warsaw ghetto
  • Abraham Klausner describes encountering survivors of the Dachau camp

    Oral History

    Rabbi Abraham Klausner was a US Army military chaplain. He arrived in the Dachau concentration camp in May 1945. He was attached to the 116th evacuation hospital unit and worked for about five years in displaced persons camps, assisting Jewish survivors.

    Abraham Klausner describes encountering survivors of the Dachau camp
  • Alisa (Lisa) Nussbaum Derman describes a dangerous journey to reach partisan territory in the Naroch Forest, Poland

    Oral History

    Lisa was one of three children born to a religious Jewish family. Following the German occupation of her hometown in 1939, Lisa and her family moved first to Augustow and then to Slonim (in Soviet-occupied eastern Poland). German troops captured Slonim in June 1941, during the invasion of the Soviet Union. In Slonim, the Germans established a ghetto which existed from 1941 to 1942. Lisa eventually escaped from Slonim, and went first to Grodno and then to Vilna, where she joined the resistance movement. She…

    Alisa (Lisa) Nussbaum Derman describes a dangerous journey to reach partisan territory in the Naroch Forest, Poland
  • Historian Peter Black describes the impact of a statement made by a former camp guard

    Oral History

    In the 1980s and 1990s, historian Peter Black worked for the US Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations, as part of a team tracking and prosecuting suspected war criminals. Black later served as the Senior Historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    Historian Peter Black describes the impact of a statement made by a former camp guard
  • Belle Mayer Zeck reflects upon people who have dedicated their lives to the cause of human rights

    Oral History

    Belle Mayer trained as a lawyer and worked for the General Counsel of the US Treasury, Foreign Funds Control Bureau. This bureau worked to enforce the Trading With the Enemy Act passed by Congress. In this capacity, Mayer became familiar with the German I. G. Farben chemical company, a large conglomerate that used slave labor during World War II. In 1945, Mayer was sent as a Department of Treasury representative to the postwar London Conference. She was present as representatives from the Allied nations…

    Belle Mayer Zeck reflects upon people who have dedicated their lives to the cause of human rights
  • Blanka Rothschild describes forced labor in the Ravensbrück camp

    Oral History

    Blanka was an only child in a close-knit family in Lodz, Poland. Her father died in 1937. After the German invasion of Poland, Blanka and her mother remained in Lodz with Blanka's grandmother, who was unable to travel. Along with other relatives, they were forced into the Lodz ghetto in 1940. There, Blanka worked in a bakery. She and her mother later worked in a hospital in the Lodz ghetto, where they remained until late 1944 when they were deported to the Ravensbrueck camp in Germany. From Ravensbrueck,…

    Blanka Rothschild describes forced labor in the Ravensbrück camp
  • Miles Lerman describes some of the dangers of partisan life

    Oral History

    Miles Lerman was a Holocaust survivor, partisan fighter in the forests of Poland, international leader in the cause of Holocaust remembrance, and a "founding father" of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    Miles Lerman describes some of the dangers of partisan life
  • Miles Lerman describes partisan activities

    Oral History

    Miles Lerman was a Holocaust survivor, partisan fighter in the forests of Poland, international leader in the cause of Holocaust remembrance, and a "founding father" of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    Miles Lerman describes partisan activities

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