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Oral history interview with Ilse Diament

Oral History | Accession Number: 1989.345.9 | RG Number: RG-50.005.0009

Ilse Diament, born in Krefeld, Germany in 1928, describes being one of five children; her family’s supermarket; attending a Jewish school in Stettin, Germany (now Szczecin, Poland); two of her sisters going to Israel before the war; her father being arrested during Kristallnacht and sent to Buchenwald; being deported in February 1940; the journey to a ghetto near Lublin, Poland; selections in the ghetto; a brutal action in the hospital barracks; being selected for a mass killing in a ditch; surviving and going to an Arbeitslager (labor camp) in the forest for a year and a half; being evacuated and walking to Madjanek; being sent to Krasnik, Poland; being taken to Auschwitz; finding a friend; hiding under dead people to save herself; how her hair was shaved and she was given her number, a dress, and some food; working with a Dutch group, cleaning out latrines in the crematoriums; a big evacuation; how the Lagerkommandant, Josef Kramer, liked the orchestra; being sent to Bergen-Belsen; working with parachutes and meeting a woman (Emily Zinger) who knew her father; contracting typhus and the orchestra protecting her; her happiness upon seeing a British soldier wearing the Star of David; the sexual assault and murders in the camps; what it was like for her after liberation; how the testimony of the survivors is crucial; going to Israel via France; meeting Fred Diament on a Kibbutz; her children; her religious feelings; and the importance of not forgetting the Holocaust.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Diament, Ilse
interview:  1983 December 04
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
1 sound recording : WAV.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the University of California, Los Angeles
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:06:44
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