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Oral history interview with Yosef Schwartz

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.215 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0215

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

Yosef Schwartz, born in Lódz, Poland in 1921, discusses his childhood years; attending public school; participating in Hashomer Hatzair and a sports organization, Bar Kochba; his family's Zionist leanings; German entrance into Lódz; one brother's escape to L’viv; a non-Jew smuggling him and his father to Warsaw, Poland to meet this brother and escape to the Soviet Union; attempting to enter the Soviet zone with his brother via Siedlce; being captured by the Soviets and sent back to Warsaw; returning to the Lódz ghetto; working in a carpentry shop in the ghetto, sabotaging furniture he built for the Germans; building sets for the ghetto theater; his brothers working for the Judenrat; one brother working in a bakery (he brought them extra bread); hiding valuables and photographs in a bunker, which they retrieved after the war; his sister's marriage (Rumkowski officiated) and her son's birth; hiding them in their bunker and their deportation; pervasive starvation; clearing the ghetto with a small group after its liquidation in 1944; being deported to Sachsenhausen; beatings and random shootings; working with Mendel Grossman; smuggling extra food to his family; public hangings of those caught smuggling food; the transfer of his father and brothers to Königs Wusterhausen and joining them shortly thereafter; clearing bombing rubble in Berlin, Germany; the Kommandant keeping them from a death march (Grossman perished on the death march) and hiding among them; liberation by Soviet troops on April 25, 1945; the Kommandant's discovery and execution; returning to Lódz; his mother's return; his younger brother's immigration to Palestine; living in Feldafing displaced persons camp; getting married in 1948; immigrating to Israel in 1949; adjustment to life in Israel; the theater and concerts in the ghetto; the work of Mendel Grossman as a clandestine ghetto photographer; the Israelis' lack of interest in his experiences; not sharing his experiences with his children; and the drawings and photographs he had hidden and recovered, including those by Grossman.

Yosef Schwartz
1995 August 24  (interview)
6 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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Record last modified: 2018-07-11 15:49:00
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