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Oral history interview with Karel Hoffman

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1993.A.0087.26 | RG Number: RG-50.091.0026

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    Oral history interview with Karel Hoffman

    Overview

    Interview Summary
    Karel Hoffman describes being 21 years old when he was ordered to report to Terezin, Czechoslovakia to help in the construction of a model prison camp; how Terezin was originally a fortress town from the Austro-Hungarian Empire; the many ironies and falsehoods of this model camp; how the Nazis touted Terezin as having many services, such as a bank, but money was totally worthless within the town; the outward appearance of Terezin versus the actual treatment of inmates within the concentration camp; the poor living conditions; the food rations and overcrowding; the inmates suffering beatings, physical abuse, and intimidation from the Nazis; remaining at Terezin for three years; being one of 5,000 taken to Auschwitz; the horrors of induction at Auschwitz, especially in the later years of the war; being transferred to Gleiwitz, where he participated in the construction of platforms for cannons and machine guns; being liberated at Gleiwitz in 1945; wandering through the woods, witnessing the chaos and confusion; returning to his home to search for family members and being unsuccessful in his search; moving to a displaced persons camp in Germany, where he remained until 1949; being sponsored for immigration to the United States by his aunts in 1949; pursuing furniture and carpentry work in the US; and getting married and having one son.
    Interviewee
    Karel Hoffman
    Interviewer
    Sidney Elsner
    Date
    interview:  1984 December 12
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the National Council of Jewish Women Cleveland Section

    Physical Details

    Language
    English
    Extent
    2 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Hoffman, Karel.

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The interview was acquired by the United Sates Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1993 from the National Council of Jewish Women Cleveland Section.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:11:07
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn504967

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