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Oral history interview with Sam Bankhalter

Oral History | Accession Number: 1994.A.0447.5 | RG Number: RG-50.042.0005

Sam Bankhalter discusses his memories of antisemitism in Poland in the 1930s and the activities of "Endeks" or Polish Nazis; the various types of persecutions suffered by Jews in Poland; the German invasion of Poland in 1939; his time living in the ghetto in Łódź, Poland; his transport to Auschwitz in 1940 where he participated in the construction of the camp; his recollections of various aspects at Auschwitz including the gas chambers, the crematoria, and selections by Josef Mengele and other doctors in the camp; the mistreatment of rabbis and priests in Auschwitz; the gassing of Romanies infected with typhus; the suicide of his brother, Chaim, and his own attempt at suicide; his memories of the arrival of his parents and sister in Auschwitz in 1944 and seeing them just before they went to the gas chambers; his death march from Auschwitz through Germany to Buchenwald concentration camp; his thoughts on the systematic nature of extermination in Auschwitz; the massacre of many camp prisoners at Buchenwald shortly before liberation; his thoughts on Holocaust survival as a type of heroism; his thoughts on humor as a way of coping in the concentration camp; his memories of the Sonderkommandos in the ghettos and in Auschwitz; and his time working in the crematoria at Auschwitz.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Sam Bankhalter
Sandra Bradley
interview:  1992 February 26
3 film reels : color ; 16 mm.
5 sound tape reels : analog, mono ; 7 in..
2 videocassette (D2) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:30:46
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