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Oral history interview with Mendel Liben

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.177.13 | RG Number: RG-50.677.0013

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Mendel Liben, born on July 15 (circa 1925-1930) in Karna, Poland, discusses his parents who owned a hardware store; Karna’s Jewish community; the Germans marching into his hometown on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, interrupting services (September 13, 1939); the German police entering his home in November 1939 and telling his family they would be “returned in three days”; his family’s three-day cattle wagon deportation to Ostrowiec; being placed in the “Jewish section”; enduring deprivation; struggling to keep his three year old sister quiet; going into hiding with his family; being captured after 18 days; the killing of his mother and brother; spending three months in the ghetto; spending 15 months in Treblinka; his sister and her three year old being shot (his older sister survived); being deported to Auschwitz II-Birkenau; being transferred to Auschwitz III-Monowitz-Buna; his brother and father being murdered (possibly in a gas chamber); being in Buchenwald for two weeks and encountering his cousin; being wounded in a shooting; being transported to a hospital; volunteering for Nordhausen; surviving Allied bombings followed by the American liberation; learning of his brother’s plight (first Dachau, murdered at Sachsenhausen); his post-war experiences in Dora and Bergen-Belsen; the liberated dying from well-meaning but poor re-introduction of food; Buchenwald displaced persons camp, which was guided by American chaplain Herschel Schacter; resuming his studies in Lundsberg, Sweden, where he stayed for four years; immigration with his brother to the United States; and becoming an electrical engineer. (He shows personal photographs at the end of the interview.

Interviewee
Mr. Mendel Liben
Interviewer
Dr. Henri Lustiger Thaler
Date
2014 August 07  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
This testimony was recorded through a joint project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Amud Aish Memorial Museum Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center.