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Oral history interviews with Esther Moses and Herbert Moses

Oral History | Accession Number: 2012.206.1 | RG Number: RG-50.701.0001

Esther Moses (née Zelmanovic), born November 15, 1920, discusses her childhood in Tacovo, Czechoslovakia (now Tiachiv, Ukraine); her father’s early immigration to the United States; her family’s relocation to a ghetto where her older and younger sisters died; her deportation to Auschwitz with her mother and brother; staying in Lager 16 in Auschwitz; meeting one of her cousins in the camp; avoiding the gas chambers on multiple occasions; witnessing resistance fighters in Auschwitz blow up the crematorium; her experience with moving bodies from a pit into a warehouse that was stacked with corpses; seeing people thrown into flames; how, as the Allies advanced, she and other female prisoners were put into cattle cars where they were raped by an SS officer; her relocation to an underground factory where she was placed into forced labor; her transfer to a factory in Hamburg, Germany; being marched to Salzburg where she was liberated; learning the fates of her family members; moving to Belgium following liberation and staying in a displaced persons camp where she met her future husband Herbert Moses; how her father in the United States discovered she was still alive and sent money for her to fly to the US; how she used the money instead to help two other girls come to the US with her by boat; arriving in New York and then traveling to Wichita, Kansas to live with her father; encountering the former SS officer who had sexually assaulted her; and how Herbert Moses came to Kansas and asked her father’s permission to marry her.

Herbert Moses, born November 16, 1920, discusses his prewar life in Altwied, Germany; his family's attempts to leave Germany; living in hiding in Germany, France, and Belgium until their capture; his time in several concentration camps, including Drancy, Auschwitz, Gross-Rosen, and Buchenwald; living conditions in the camps; forced labor and death marches; his liberation in 1945 and time in a transition camp in Belgium, where he met his future wife Esther Zelmanovic; his postwar life in New York City; and his marriage to Esther in Wichita, Kansas in 1948.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Mrs. Esther Moses
Mindi Wisman
interview:  1997
Oral histories.
4 digital files : WAV.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Molly Wisman
Record last modified: 2023-05-30 10:26:53
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