Category: Oral History

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  • Emanuel Tanay describes the establishment of the Miechow ghetto

    Oral History

    Emanuel and his family lived in the small town of Miechow, north of Krakow. After Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, persecution of Jews increased. The Germans established a ghetto in Miechow. Emanuel was forced to live in the ghetto. Emanuel, his mother, and his sister escaped from the ghetto before it was destroyed in 1942. He stayed in a monastery, under an assumed identity, along with members of the Polish underground. Emanuel left the monastery after about a year when a teacher began to suspect…

    Tags: ghettos
    Emanuel Tanay describes the establishment of the Miechow ghetto
  • Leah Hammerstein Silverstein describes starvation in the Warsaw ghetto

    Oral History

    Leah grew up in Praga, a suburb of Warsaw, Poland. She was active in the Ha-Shomer ha-Tsa'ir Zionist youth movement. Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. Jews were forced to live in the Warsaw ghetto, which the Germans sealed off in November 1940. In the ghetto, Leah lived with a group of Ha-Shomer ha-Tsa'ir members. In September 1941, she and other members of the youth group escaped from the ghetto to a Ha-Shomer ha-Tsa'ir farm in Zarki, near Czestochowa, Poland. In May 1942, Leah became a courier…

    Leah Hammerstein Silverstein describes starvation in the Warsaw ghetto
  • Blanka Rothschild describes the role of sharing and friendship in surviving the Lodz ghetto

    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 the role of sharing and friendship in surviving the Lodz ghetto
  • Charlene Schiff describes a clandestine school for children in the Horochow ghetto

    Oral History

    Both of Charlene's parents were local Jewish community leaders, and the family was active in community life. Charlene's father was a professor of philosophy at the State University of Lvov. World War II began with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Charlene's town was in the part of eastern Poland occupied by the Soviet Union under the German-Soviet Pact of August 1939. Under the Soviet occupation, the family remained in its home and Charlene's father continued to teach. The Germans…

    Tags: ghettos
    Charlene Schiff describes a clandestine school for children in the Horochow ghetto
  • Charlene Schiff describes children smuggling food into the Horochow ghetto

    Oral History

    Both of Charlene's parents were local Jewish community leaders, and the family was active in community life. Charlene's father was a professor of philosophy at the State University of Lvov. World War II began with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Charlene's town was in the part of eastern Poland occupied by the Soviet Union under the German-Soviet Pact of August 1939. Under the Soviet occupation, the family remained in its home and Charlene's father continued to teach. The Germans…

    Tags: ghettos
    Charlene Schiff describes children smuggling food into the Horochow ghetto
  • Sam Itzkowitz describes forced labor in the Makow ghetto

    Oral History

    The Germans invaded Poland in September 1939. When Makow was occupied, Sam fled to Soviet territory. He returned to Makow for provisions, but was forced to remain in the ghetto. In 1942, he was deported to Auschwitz. As the Soviet army advanced in 1944, Sam and other prisoners were sent to camps in Germany. The inmates were put on a death march early in 1945. American forces liberated Sam after he escaped during a bombing raid.

    Sam Itzkowitz describes forced labor in the Makow ghetto
  • Cecilie Klein-Pollack describes deportation from Huszt

    Oral History

    Cecilie was the youngest of six children born to a religious, middle-class Jewish family. In 1939, Hungary occupied Cecilie's area of Czechoslovakia. Members of her family were imprisoned. The Germans occupied Hungary in 1944. Cecilie and her family had to move into a ghetto in Huszt and were later deported to Auschwitz. Cecilie and her sister were chosen for forced labor; the rest of her family was gassed upon arrival. Cecilie was transferred to several other camps, where she labored in factories. Allied…

    Cecilie Klein-Pollack describes deportation from Huszt
  • Blanka Rothschild describes deportations from the Lodz ghetto

    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 Ravensbrück camp in Germany. From Ravensbrueck,…

    Blanka Rothschild describes deportations from the Lodz ghetto
  • 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
  • Leah Hammerstein Silverstein describes lack of burial of the corpses of people who died in the Warsaw ghetto

    Oral History

    Leah grew up in Praga, a suburb of Warsaw, Poland. She was active in the Ha-Shomer ha-Tsa'ir Zionist youth movement. Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. Jews were forced to live in the Warsaw ghetto, which the Germans sealed off in November 1940. In the ghetto, Leah lived with a group of Ha-Shomer ha-Tsa'ir members. In September 1941, she and other members of the youth group escaped from the ghetto to a Ha-Shomer ha-Tsa'ir farm in Zarki, near Czestochowa, Poland. In May 1942, Leah became a courier…

    Tags: Warsaw ghettos
    Leah Hammerstein Silverstein describes lack of burial of the corpses of people who died in the Warsaw ghetto

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