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Oral history interview with David Wisnia

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

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.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Mr. David S. Wisnia
Interviewer
Joseph Toltz
Date
interview:  2011 April 07
Language
English
Extent
2 digital files : WAV.
 
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:23:52
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn43244