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Oral history interview with David Wisnia

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.71 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0619

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

David Wisnia, born in 1926, discusses his experiences growing up in Sochaczew, Poland; attending an exclusive private Zionist school; the German invasion of Warsaw, Poland in September 1939; the formation of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1940; his brother’s move to Otvosk; worsening conditions in the ghetto; his father’s work doing repairs at an airport; taking his father’s place at work one day in 1941 and being barred from reentering the ghetto; returning to Sochaczew alone; staying with various families and then being helped across the Bzura River to Wyszogród; his deportation to Auschwitz in the fall of 1942; claiming to have been born in 1924 and choosing to go with the men instead of the children upon arrival at Auschwitz; being assigned to collect the bodies of those who had committed suicide; singing for the block elder who made him an assistant to the stubendienst; receiving better treatment and access to food and clothing because of his singing talent; working in the sauna for six months; being made to participate in a mock hanging as an initiation to the strafkommando; meeting his wife; going on a death march to Gleiwitz in December 1944; making a failed escape attempt; arriving at Dachau and then being put on a train to Austria; escaping in the chaos of bombing; encountering tanks and joining an outfit of American soldiers; going with the soldiers to a military cap at Bar-le-Duc France; being stationed at Versailles; and reuniting with a friend he met in Auschwitz, who had saved the songs he had written while in the camp.

Interviewee
Mr. David S. Wisnia
Interviewer
Joseph Toltz
Date
2011 April 07  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 digital files : WAV.
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:20:52
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn43244