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Oral history interview with Aleksander Henryk Laks

Oral History | Accession Number: 2005.603.3 | RG Number: RG-50.637.0003

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

Aleksander Henryk Laks (né Chaim Benzion Cale), born in Lódz, Poland in 1927, describes taking his mother’s last name, Laks, after the war; being active in the Holocaust survivors community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; growing up in a Jewish family in Lódz; his birth mother dying when he was a young child and being raised by his step-mother, Balcie; economic conditions in Poland; attending public school; the German invasion in 1939; the abuse his grandfather suffered and his disappearance; his school closing and being forced to wear a yellow star; the restrictions placed on Jews; the sealing of the ghetto in May 1940; life in the ghetto, including their apartment, food, and school; his bar mitzvah in 1940; the deportation of children from the ghetto; working 12 hour days in a metal workshop; hiding in August 1944 when the ghetto was being liquidated; being deported with his family to Auschwitz; his step-mother’s death in the camp; arriving in the camp and the selections; being shaved, beaten, and tattooed; being sent to the Gross-Rosen subcamp Kaltwasser; having several teeth forcibly removed; being sent to camp Lärche; being sent to Flossenbürg, where his father was killed by a Kapo; being sent with other inmates to Bodensee to be drowned; being sent by train to Offenburg, Germany to clean up the town after a bombing; being taken to Emmendingen, Germany, where he was liberated; his physical condition upon liberation; traveling to Emmendingen in 2004; and several photographs he has from the ghetto (he shows them to the camera).

Interviewee
Aleksander H. Laks
Interviewer
Ms. Teresa A. Pollin
Date
2005 January 24  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
3 videocassettes (MiniDV).
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:39:17
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn44160