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Oral history interview with Isak Levenstein

Oral History | Accession Number: 1993.A.0088.17 | RG Number: RG-50.002.0017

Isak Levenstein discusses his childhood in a town near Lublin, Poland; moving to Kraków, Poland to live with his uncle after his parents' deaths; his education in Kraków; his work as the owner of a pots and pans factory; getting married on December 29, 1931; the size and professions of the Jewish population in Kraków; his membership in Mizrachi and Hechalutz Zionist organizations; antisemitism in Kraków in the mid-1930s; the banning of ritual slaughter in Kraków; Polish collaboration with the Nazis; the murdering of 1.2 million children by the Nazis during the Holocaust; the saving of Jews by very few Poles; the hiding of his wife's family in a bunker near Kraków and their eventual murder; his and his wife's move into the Kraków ghetto in 1941; his memories of the instructions given to the Judenrat by the Nazis; the deportation of Jews from Kraków to Treblinka and Auschwitz concentration camps; his memories of Jewish religious observances in the ghetto; his time in hiding in order to escape selections; a comprehensive round-up that took place in the ghetto in 1943 and the hiding of his family in a bunker during the roundup; his imprisonment in Płaszów concentration camp; his effort to save his family by bribing a German commander; the hiding of his children in the bunks of Płaszów concentration camp for 14 months; his inability to save his children; his qualifications as a metal worker; his time in Oskar Schindler's Gross-Rosen and Brünnlitz factories; his memories of Oskar Schindler; his wife's time in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps; his and his wife's search for relatives after the war; his thoughts on the differences between the Poles and the Czechs after the war; his and his wife's visit to Theresienstadt concentration camp; his separation from his wife between October of 1944 and August of 1945; their immigration to the United States after World War II; visiting Israel 25 times; and starting of a construction company with two other Schindler Jews in New Jersey.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Levenstein, Isak
Langer, Sidney
interview:  1983
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Holocaust Resource Center at Kean University
Record last modified: 2022-06-23 09:42:24
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