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Oral history interview with Alexander Berger

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.347 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0347

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

Alexander Berger, born on August 15, 1925 in Bratislava, Slovakia, describes his family and being one of three children; attending a Jewish orthodox school even though his family was not very religious; how in 1940 the Jews of Bratislava were sent to a camp in Trnava, Slovakia, where Alexander worked for the railroad; being moved to the camp in Sered, Slovakia in April 1941; going soon after to Majdanek and to Birkenau, where he had a difficult life; his construction unit from Birkenau being transferred to Auschwitz; joining the food distribution center there until he was caught stealing food and sent to a debris clean-up site; finding his sister and keeping in touch; seeing his brother killed; being separated from his sister in January 1945 when they left on death marches; going to Mauthausen and then to Ebensee; surviving the rough and confused conditions of the camp; being liberated by the Americans in May 1945; being in poor health and spending some time recuperating; going to Prague, Czech Republic; joining the S.I.T. group in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic and seeking revenge on former Nazis and fascists; being forced to flee because of his treatment of prisoners; going to Backnang, Germany, where a group of Israelis recruited him to teach them how to use weapons in Merano, Italy; going to Israel in 1948 and joining the Israeli Army without knowing any Hebrew; rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after serving 28 years in the military; still having nightmares about the war; and he cannot yet share his story with his children.

Interviewee
Mr. Alexander Berger
Date
1998 May 22  (interview)
Language
Hebrew
Extent
7 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
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Record last modified: 2018-03-14 09:15:57
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn503303