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Oral history interview with William Loew

Oral History | Digitized | RG Number: RG-50.549.01.0006

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    Oral history interview with William Loew


    Interview Summary
    William Loew discusses being captured at age 17 as he tried to flee from Hungary to Romania; entering Auschwitz as an orchestra played a march; being imprisoned in Auschwitz and Flossenbürg camps from October 1944 to April 1945; receiving the number 193229 because the SS believed he had special information and marked him as someone to be preserved for later questioning; reuniting with his hometown doctor in the Auschwitz clinic; witnessing the public hanging of five Polish prisoners who attempted to escape Auschwitz in December 1944; feeling a loss of hope upon hearing the news of President Roosevelt’s death in April 1945; his liberation by American troops while on a forced march from Flossenbürg to Dachau; feeling that he was in a “no man’s land” in which he was free, but had to reconstruct his life; traveling to Bamberg, Germany with American soldiers as an interpreter; discovering he had tuberculosis and staying for over a year at a sanatorium in Gauting (near Munich); taking high school courses to further his education and attending Technische Hochschule in Munich; taking courses on a subsidy from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA); serving as an interpreter for displaced persons seeking to enter the United States; helping a Jewish family that could not meet the literacy requirement by using a Hebrew prayer book and letting the man recite a prayer so it appeared as though he was reading; moving to New York in 1949 and staying with a family in Roselle, NJ; working for the American Company for Electronics, installing antennas and repairing televisions; attending the New York College of Engineering and receiving a degree in 1955; working for the General Instrument Corporation in engineering applications until 1960; moving to Philadelphia, PA and then to St. Louis, MO; designing fire control systems for B-58 airplanes at Emerson Electric until 1962; working for the Mallory Company in Indianapolis and marrying his wife Lois, a psychologist, in 1962; working for the Food and Drug Administration researching the emissions of x-rays from cathode ray tubes in televisions and the engineering of medical devices from 1975 until 1990; starting a vineyard in Fredrick County, NJ in 1982, making honey wine as his family did in Poland; sharing very little of his experience with his children or grandchildren; feeling regret and sorrow that his brothers and mother did not survive; experiencing nightmares and flashbacks; feeling that his character has been primarily shaped by his family and upbringing, not his Holocaust experience; and feeling that survivors are more driven to succeed and work hard to have a good life.
    William Loew
    Dan Collison
    interview:  1995 December 01

    Physical Details

    4 sound cassettes (60 min.).

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Loew, William, 1925-

    Administrative Notes

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum conducted the oral history interview with William Loew on December 1, 1995.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 18:19:04
    This page:

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