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Oral history interview with Avraham Weitzman

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.162 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0162

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

Avraham Weitzman, born in 1924 in Radom, Poland, describes his parents; his older sister and younger brother; his parents’ successful shoe business; growing up observant; being a member of Hashomer Hadati, Akivah, and Massada; his education; his extended family; the annexation of Austria; the German invasion; his mother’s reluctance to leave; Polish collaborators; the persecution of Jews and restrictions imposed; the black market; the Judenrat (Jewish council); forced labor; Passover in 1940; being sent to study mechanics for 10 months in a weapons factory in 1941; how the Jewish police were selected; the creation of the ghetto; his role in family underground business of selling the hidden leather stock to Polish shoe manufacturers; the conditions in the ghetto and his informal education there; the round ups and deportations; the Judenrat organizing a course on precision mechanics; hearing rumors about atrocities in other towns; the two ghettos in Radom; working in construction in a factory; feeling very isolated and lonely; leaving and working in a coal unloading and distribution plant; not eating bread during Passover in 1943; going to Pionki and working in the bicycle maintenance section; conditions in the barracks; being left behind as most of the prisoners were sent to Auschwitz; his work digging trenches; being sent to Chestochova, Poland, where they boarded a train for Berlin, Germany; being transferred by truck to Oranienburg, Germany, where they entered Sachsenhausen; seeing the words “Arbeit Macht Frei”; receiving an ID number and being quarantined for six weeks; German prisoners in the camp; studying German in the camp from a Nazi paper with the help of a professor from Munich; Yom Kippur in 1944; his uncle’s arrival to the camp; being sent in October 1944 to Glöwen, Germany to work in DAG factory, where Abraham was appointed as manager of the new arrivals; being in charge of food distribution and barracks cleaning; being transferred to Bergen-Belsen; working in a factory in Rathenow, Germany that produced airplane wings; the conditions in Rathenow; liberation in April 1945; going to Berlin to make contact with refugee organizations; returning to Radom; living in Neuruppin, Germany; immigrating to Israel in 1948; UNRRA’s displaced persons camps; helping the Zionists send people to Palestine from 1946 to 1947; and his work preserving Holocaust memories.

Interviewee
Avraham Weitzman
Date
1993 May 05  (interview)
Language
Hebrew
Extent
10 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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Record last modified: 2018-03-14 09:15:33
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn502890