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Oral history interview with Susan Cernyak-Spatz

Oral History | Accession Number: 2007.416.13 | RG Number: RG-50.650.0012

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

Susan Cernyak-Spatz (née Eckstein), born in Vienna, Austria in 1922, describes her family’s concerns about Hitler in 1933; the gradual deprivation of Jewish citizens’ rights in Vienna; moving to Prague, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic) in 1938; her father’s plan to move her family across the border illegally into Poland and then Belgium to escape the Nazis; being arrested with her mother in Prague; being deported in 1942 to Theresienstadt; her choice to separate from her mother who was gassed upon arrival at Auschwitz; her later deportation to Auschwitz in 1943; the physical effects of camp food on the prisoners’ bodies; her brief experience as a political interrogation stenographer in Auschwitz and her use of the exclusive privileges accompanying that position; her attempt at a romantic relationship as a prisoner; her efforts to foster a sense of community between women in the labor camps to keep each others’ spirits alive; and her views on women’s forced reliance on male authority figures in the business world.

Interviewee
Susan E. Cernyak-Spatz
Interviewer
Joan Ringelheim
Date
1979 August 02  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
3 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joan Ringelheim
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:42:59
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn47955