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Oral history interview with Alberto Sed

Oral History | Accession Number: 2010.184.10 | RG Number: RG-50.630.0010

Alberto Sed, born on December 7, 1928 in Rome, Italy, discusses his father, who died when Alberto was seven years old; his three sisters; his older sister being orphaned as his mother could not afford to look after all the siblings; his mother, who had a small shop in Piazza Campitelli and was told in 1938 that she could no longer serve customers because she was Jewish; loyal customers continuing to use his mother’s services covertly; being expelled from school when he was 10 years-old because of racial laws; beginning work in the markets as a helper after his mother lost her shop; being fired after it was discovered that he was Jewish; being taken by the Germans in October 1943 by bus to camp Fossoli; staying in the camp briefly before being sent to Auschwitz in an animal truck; being sent to their blocks and being given a number (Alberto's number was 500491); being told to memorize his number in German and to learn to respond quickly when he was called or else the Germans would beat him; meeting an Italian soldier with one arm, who was imprisoned in Auschwitz because he would not collaborate with the Germans, and being told by this soldier to do everything he said and he would survive; the demographics of the camp; the German guards; how Sundays were the worst days because the Germans were usually drunk and they would take pleasure in causing harm or suffering to the Jewish people, for example they would make them fight with dogs, or kick them in to the swimming pool and if someone would try to come out, they would kick them in the head; the Italian soldier instructing him to make a knife with the spoon he was given and cut up any herbs or greens he saw growing on the land as this would help him to survive; his work carrying heavy stones and after four days of this, being so tired, he chose not to work; the Germans beating him up and making him stand in front of an electric fence and positioning dogs behind him (if he fell either side he would get hurt so he had to stay alert); witnessing soldiers throwing newborn Jewish babies around in the air for fun; becoming a boxer in the camp in order to get more food; being sent on a death march and seeing many people die every day; going to camp Dora; meeting a French doctor who hid him under the beds; and the liberation of the camp.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Alberto Sed
interview:  2010 April 12
Oral histories.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ariel Baron