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Oral history interview with Eddie Willner

Oral History | Accession Number: 1989.A.0316 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0252

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

Eddie Willner, born on August 15, 1926 in Germany, describes how his father had felt that his family would be safe because he had fought in the German Army in World War I; being separated from his parents and sent on a train to Brussels, Belgium, where a Jewish refugee organization placed him with a Dutch family; his parents’ move to Belgium in 1939 and seeing them on weekends until the war broke out in May 1940; the arrest of his father and his deportation to an internment camp in France; remaining with his mother and tracking down his father in the Pyrenees Mountains; living in the house of a French priest; getting caught with false identification cards with his family and being sent to Drancy; his deportation out of France and toward the east on September 12, 1942; arriving in Auschwitz, where his mother was immediately gassed while he stayed with his father; his transfer to a work camp in Lazy, Poland, where he worked on reconstructing bombed-out railroads; enduring harsh conditions, especially in the winter months; losing his religious faith after the war; returning from his work detail one day to discover that his father had been selected for the gas chamber during the day; the bombing of the train on which he was being transported to Buchenwald, escaping, and being liberated by American troops; staying in the Frankfurt displaced persons camp and then searching for his family in Brussels after the war; and immigrating to the United States in December 1947.

Interviewee
Eddie H. Willner
Interviewer
Ellen Epstein
Date
1989 May 25  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
3 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:11:11
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn504739