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Oral history interview with Sally Levenstein

Oral History | Accession Number: 1993.A.0088.18 | RG Number: RG-50.002.0018

Sally Levenstein, born in 1909, discusses her childhood in Kazimierza Wielka, Poland; the Jewish community in Kazimierza Wielka; the death of her father in 1918; her education in Kazimierza Wielka and in Kraków, Poland; the relationship between the Gentiles and the Jews in Kazimierza Wielka; getting married to Isak Levenstein in 1931 and moving to Kraków; the size and level of religious observance of the Jewish community in Kraków; her social life in Kraków; her involvement with the Jewish National Fund; the birth of her two children in 1932 and in 1937; the start of World War II in 1939; the betrayal of her sister by a Polish neighbor; the arrival of Jews in Poland, deported from Germany; the establishment of the Kraków ghetto; her work in a factory making stockings for German soldiers; her memories of selections that took place in the ghetto; the Judenrat and the Jewish police in the ghetto; the establishment of Płaszów concentration camp in 1942; the liquidation of the Kraków ghetto in 1943; hiding in a bunker with her children for 70 days near Kraków; her husband's imprisonment at Płaszów concentration camp; her memories of searching for food for her children while in hiding; her husband's smuggling of the children into Płaszów to be with him; her time hiding in the factory where she worked; her voluntary movement to Płaszów concentration camp to be with her family; the help that she received for her children from Mrs. Rosner; the roundup of all the children in Płaszów; her and her husband's inability to save their own children; the move of her husband and other family members by Oskar Schindler to his Brünnlitz factory in Czechoslovakia; her deportation to and time in Birkenau concentration camp; her memories of selections by Dr. Josef Mengele for the gas chamber; her aimless work while she was imprisoned in Birkenau; Dr. Menegle's experiments on inmates in Auschwitz; her transfer from Birkenau to Auschwitz; being in a death march to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and the shooting of those prisoners who stopped marching; her experiences in Bergen-Belsen and her bout with typhus while in the camp; her time in a hospital during the time of liberation; the death of inmates from over-eating after liberation; an invitation to the survivors by the Queen of Portugal to come to Portugal after World War II; her search for her family after the war; her reunion with her husband in Kraków and their return to their apartment there; the help that they received from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency; their time in Vienna, Austria and in Bindermichl displaced persons camp; the birth of her daughter in Bindermichl; her family's immigration to the United States in 1949; their life in New York and their move to New Jersey where her husband started a construction company; and her reflections on the Holocaust.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Sally Levenstein
Sidney Langer
interview:  1983
2 videocassettes (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: 2023-11-16 07:56:22
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