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Oral history interview with Paul Monka

Oral History | Accession Number: 1993.A.0088.42 | RG Number: RG-50.002.0042

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

Paul Monka, born in 1920 in Bedzin, Poland, describes his childhood in Bedzin; his father's textile business; his time studying in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland; his memories of antisemitism in Piotrków Trybunalski and throughout Poland before, during, and after the World War II; his family's involvement in Zionism; his memories of a curfew and other anti-Jewish laws in Bedzin after 1939; his recollections of demeaning forced labor in Bedzin after 1939; his recollections of the Bedzin ghetto; his encounter with the Gestapo while working in a factory in Silesia; his subsequent arrest and time in solitary confinement in a Gestapo prison in Katowice, Poland; his time in the hospital after surviving solitary confinement and meeting Yanek; his acceptance into the Armia Ludowa resistance group by Yanek; his memories of selections from the Bedzin ghetto; his escape from Bedzin to the Armia Ludowa headquarters in the woods; his recollections of the formation of a Judenrat in Bedzin; his sabotage actions as part of the underground movement; his sister's illness and death from tuberculosis; his liberation by Russians; his memories of Zavatsky, the Polish General; his time as Security Chief of Silesia after the war; his memories of the Muselmänner who survived Auschwitz concentration camp; his recollections of the death marches from the camps at the end of the war; his feelings of bitterness toward the United States for refusing to accept his sister for immigration and for the lack of response in general; his time in Italy from 1945 to 1946; his work for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration; his move to the United States on November 21, 1949; and his life in the United States after 1949.

Interviewee
Paul Monka
Interviewer
Bernard Weinstein
Date
1989 May 17-1989 June 09  (interview)
1989 June 09  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
4 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Holocaust Resource Center of Kean University
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:50:26
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn505554