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Oral history interview with Fred Diament

Oral History | Accession Number: 1989.345.8 | RG Number: RG-50.005.0008

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

Fred Diament, born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, describes his Orthodox parents, who were Polish Jews and moved to Germany in 1919; the distinct differences between the strong Eastern Jewish community and the German Jewish community; how after Kristallnacht, all Jewish students were expelled from German schools; his parents sending each of their six kids to live with gentiles for two weeks; being arrested with one of his brothers and his father and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp; life in the camp; being attracted to the Zionist movement; his family’s store, which sold linens; his family’s attempts to emigrate; his work in Sachsenhausen; befriending the camp’s cook; an uprising in Sachsenhausen; being disinfected before being transferred to Auschwitz in 1942; two of his brothers joining a Zionist group in Poland and receiving fake certificates to enter Palestine; going to Auschwitz with one of his brothers and his father; the fate of the intellectuals; the social hierarchy within the camp based on the number of years one survived in the camps; working in Buna, where they produced synthetic fuel and rubber; his father’s death; the strong underground in Auschwitz and he and his brother joining them; the communal atmosphere in the camp; the new camp leader; some acts of sabotage but nothing serious; the death of his brother, Leo, during an escape attempt; being transferred to Gleiwitz; his successful escape during a death march in January 1945; being liberated; discovering that his family was dead; and finding a group going to Israel and helping to found a kibbutz in Israel.

Interviewee
Fred Diament
Date
1983 March 05  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the University of California, Los Angeles
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:41:10
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn503585