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Oral history interview with Samuel Willenberg

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.204 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0204

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    Oral history interview with Samuel Willenberg


    Interview Summary
    Samuel Willenberg (né Shmuel Vilenberg), born in 1923, in Czestochowa, Poland, discusses moving with his family to Radość, Warsaw, Poland in 1939; joining soldier groups going east to defend Kovel', Ukraine, against attacking Russians; being wounded in the back; escape with his family to Opatow, Poland, where they remained until January 1942, even after the establishment of the ghetto; his mother obtaining non-Jewish identification certificates to ease restrictions; his father painting for food; his two sisters being taken by the police; being sent to work in a metal factory in 1942; the train ride and arrival in Treblinka; the working conditions, the Jewish Capos, the Vorarbeiters in charge, and the German officers’ dog; the camp’s hospital; sorting clothing and bribing Ukrainian guards with the items he found; how the Jan 9th transport brought a violinist, Gold, which led to establishing an orchestra to amuse the Germans; conditions during an important person’s visit; his escape from Treblinka with 30 inmates and three stolen guns; his search for his parents; contact with the Polish underground; being involved with the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising; work and experiences with a brigade of the Polska Armia Ludowa (Polish National Army); conditions in the forest from 1944 to 1945; serving as an officer in the Polish Army from 1945 to 1946; joining a Zionist group in Łódź, Poland; his marriage; immigrating to Israel in 1950; and his adjustment to life in Israel.
    Samuel Willenberg
    Nathan Beyrak
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection

    Physical Details

    8 digital files : MPEG-4.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    Restrictions on access. Interview is viewable onsite at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum only.
    Conditions on Use
    Restrictions on use. Interview cannot be used in publication without the consent of the interviewee or his/her heirs.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Nathan Beyrak conducted the interview with Samuel Willenberg in Israel. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives received the tapes of the interview on March 1, 1995, as an accretion to the original collection of Israel Documentation Project interviews received by transfer in February 1995.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-06 12:45:29
    This page:

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