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Oral history interview with Joseph Benson

Oral History | Accession Number: 1993.A.0087.9 | RG Number: RG-50.091.0009

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

Joseph Benson, born in Strasin in the Northern Bohemian section of Czechoslovakia (now in Czech Republic), describes his German mother and Czech father; having a happy life on a farm with his family and receiving a strong Catholic education; acquiring a love for aviation early in life; being a teenager when the Germans occupied the Sudentenland; being loyal to the Czech ideals and people at that time; becoming involved in anti-German activities; joining the underground movement when he turned 18; being smuggled to England to join the Czech Army in exile; eagerly volunteering for intensive combat flight training and mastering all facets in a short time; his plane being shot down over Germany during an early combat mission; being discovered by the Gestapo and imprisoned for interrogation; suffering torture and imprisonment in Nuremberg, Selenstrausse, and Stadelheim prisons; being in isolation for a great deal of the time; refusing to divulge any information; being transferred first to Dachau and then to Buchenwald; performing labor in aircraft component factories; being transferred to Schoenbeck and escaping with a friend to the American lines; his methods for survival; being a strong believer in personal freedoms; and lecturing to youths about the dangers of totalitarian governments.

Interviewee
Joseph Benson
Interviewer
Leatrice Rabinsky
Date
1984 August 24  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
3 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the National Council of Jewish Women Cleveland Section