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Oral history interview with Fishel Rotshtein

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.319 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0319

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

Fishel Rotshtein, born in 1917 in Łódź, Poland, describes being the fifth of eight children; studying to be an engraver until age sixteen; a factory job in that trade; his father's death in 1939; German invasion; a failed attempt to flee with his brother; anti-Jewish restrictions; ghettoization; volunteering for work in Germany six months later to help support his family; deportation to Brójce; slave labor constructing roads; hospitalization in Świebodzin; visits from camp friends; giving them his extra food; transfer to Grunow-Spiegelberge, also doing road construction; working for local farmers and as the camp doctor's aide; transfer in mid-1942 to Eberswalde; improved conditions; assignments in the laundry and as a doctor's assistant; receiving letters from home; prisoners of war sharing potatoes; French POWs offering to hide him; transfer to Auschwitz/Birkenau in summer 1943, then two days later to Buna/Monowitz; slave labor for I. G. Farben; he and a friend obtaining extra soup with gold they had found; trading found goods with Polish civilian workers for food and medication; a beating when he was caught; frequent public hangings; learning his family had arrived in Auschwitz; transfer to Gleiwitz; train transport to Buchenwald; Czechs throwing them food en route; transfer two weeks later to Langenstein; many prisoners being wounded in an Allied bombing en route; slave labor in a quarry for a month; a death march; escaping with a friend; assistance from local Germans; liberation by Soviet troops; returning home; retrieving family photographs from his destroyed home; reunion with two sisters; meeting his future wife; moving to the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp; marriage; his uncle in England arranging their emigration to join him; immigration to join his wife's mother and brother in Israel three years later; how only he, two sisters, and two uncles survived from his large extended family. (He shows photographs.)

Interviewee
Fishel Rotshtein
Date
1997 January 09  (interview)
Language
Hebrew
Extent
6 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
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Record last modified: 2018-07-11 15:49:17
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn503223