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Oral history interview with Itka Zygmuntowicz

Oral History | Accession Number: 1996.A.0208 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0435

Itka Zygmuntowicz, born April 15, 1926 in Poland (possibly Ciechanów), discusses her family and childhood in Poland before World War II; her experiences with antisemitism before the war; relations between her family and Gentiles in her hometown; her knowledge of politics as a child and involvement in the Zionist movement; the German occupation of her hometown and the restrictions that the Germans imposed on the Jewish population; the confiscation of her family's valuables; a beating that she and her mother suffered at the hands of the Gestapo for not revealing information; her family's deportation to the ghetto in Nové Město in 1941; the liquidation of the ghetto in 1942 and the mass deportation to Auschwitz; her arrival at Auschwitz and her separation from her parents and younger siblings who perished in the camp; finding a friend named Binna in the camp; her forms of spiritual, mental, and physical resistance as a prisoner; her contact with the guards in the camp; her experience sorting the belongings of dead prisoners in the "Kanada" warehouse; a death march in January 1945 to Ravensbrück concentration camp and then a transport to Malchow concentration camp; her liberation during Passover in 1945; recuperating at a hospital in Sweden after the war through the help of the Swedish Red Cross; living in a displaced persons camp in Sweden; leaving the camp with two friends and getting a job; meeting and marrying her husband and the birth of her son in 1948; and her immigration to the United States in 1953.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Itka F. Zygmuntowicz
Randy M. Goldman
interview:  1996 May 30
Oral histories.
5 sound cassettes (60 min.).