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Oral history interview with Joseph Klein

Oral History | Accession Number: 1993.A.0087.30 | RG Number: RG-50.091.0030

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

Joseph Klein, born in Strabyczowa, Czechoslovakia (a small town in the Carpathian Mountains that was later part of the Soviet Union), describes being part of a large, orthodox family; his three brothers and three sisters; his father working in the lumber, sand, and gravel trade; his youngest sister dying in childhood and his father dying of liver cancer in 1943, one year before the family was sent to Auschwitz; how the Jews of Strabyczowa were among the last to be deported; being sent to the ghetto at Munkacs (Mukacheve, Ukraine); being sent to Auschwitz; the death of his mother and sister; being sent to work camps with his other sister; spending ten days in Buchenwald, then going to a work camp near Leipzig, Germany, where he repaired a bomb-damaged petroleum refinery; being evacuated by train and escaping the train with another prisoner; being recaptured several days later and returned to their unit; being marched back and his friend being shot by their Gestapo guards; being forced to march to Theresienstadt; remaining in Theresienstadt for one month; being liberated by the Russian Army on May 8, 1945; becoming gravely ill with typhus; obtaining a train ticket to Czechoslovakia when he was well enough to travel; returning to Strabyczowa and finding his brothers, uncle, and sister in Chop; crossing the border into Czechoslovakia before it was permanently closed; going to England in May 1946 through an orphan-refugee program; immigrating to the United States three years later; his surviving siblings settling in the US; serving in the American Army for 19 months during the Korean War; working as a printer at the Cleveland Press; travelling to Israel for the country's tenth anniversary and meeting his wife, Bela, there; living in South Euclid, OH and working as a property manager; and his two daughters, Audrey and Mona.

Interviewee
Joseph Klein
Interviewer
Judy Levendula
Date
1984 August 01  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 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