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Oral history interview with Mendel Liben

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

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.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Mr. Mendel Liben
Interviewer
Dr. Henri Lustiger Thaler
Date
interview:  2014 August 07
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.
 
Record last modified: 2020-09-03 13:54:17
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn181330