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Oral history interview with Beno Helmer

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.413.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0093

Beno Helmer, born in 1923 in Teplice, Czechoslovakia, describes his childhood and family; using his foreign language skills to land small movie roles before the war; attempting to settle in Hungary with his family before the war; his family’s deportation to Łódź in 1939 because they did not have immigration papers; arriving in the Łódź ghetto and staying there until he had to begin doing forced labor outside the ghetto in 1942; securing a job posing as a non-Jewish German and collecting information for the underground and becoming an expert at derailing trains; returning to the ghetto when his father became sick and remaining with his family until they were deported to Auschwitz after the liquidation of the Łódź ghetto; his deportations to Gross-Rosen, Krupp Bertha-Werk at Laskowitz-Meleschwitz, Buchenwald, and Ludwigslust; his liberation by American soldiers while in a Russian prisoner-of-war camp; attempting to get back to Poland and on the way joining a Polish forced labor group that was later incorporated into the Russian Army; spending time hunting for Nazi war criminals after the war; and living in Europe for several years until he immigrated to the United States.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Helmer, Beno
Kuzmack, Linda Gordon
interview:  1990 June 25
Oral histories.
2 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2022-06-24 20:19:27
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