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Oral history interview with Kaziemierz Stalmach

Oral History | Accession Number: 1996.A.0586.57 | RG Number: RG-50.407.0057

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

Kaziemierz Stalmach, born on February 24, 1920 in Kraków, Poland, discusses his mother who was from a shtetl in eastern Poland; his father, who was from a shtetl near Krakow, and worked as a tailor (he died in 1925); his siblings Shimon (born 1917), Max (born 1917), and Amelia (born 1915); attending public school for four years; attending evening classes at Talmud Torah in Krakow; his mother who was religious and spoke Polish and Yiddish; knowing conditions were bad for Jew sin Germany in 1933; being in Kraków at the beginning of the war; the rationing of food; his siblings, Amelia and Max, living in a Jewish orphanage; the restrictions placed on Jews; being forced to live in the ghetto in 1941; living in one room with his extended family; conditions in the ghetto over time; many Jews fleeing to Russia; the Judenrat that ran the ghetto; being allowed to leave ghetto for work; the Jewish police in the ghetto; his friend Adam Bachman, who had run away from camp Belzec; planning an escape from the ghetto with Bachman; getting a Polish birth certificate and a German identity card from a Polish friend who worked on the railroad; Bachman being turned into the Germans in January 1943 by a Jewish informer (hearing after the war that Bachman was killed in Auschwitz); the liquidation of the Kraków ghetto in March 1943 and the subsequent deportation of his mother, brother and sister to Auschwitz; living as a Polish Christian outside of Kraków; hiding in Kraków with the help of the resistance movement; living in the woods with the partisans beginning in May 1944; returning to Kraków in October 1944 because of a dental problem; the arrival of the Russians in Kraków in January 1945; reuniting with his brother and sister; running a photograph business after the war; getting married to the daughter of the people who had hid him during the war, and her death soon after their marriage; getting married to Sophia in 1952; the births of his children in the 1950s; immigrating to Australia in 1960; and working at Courtney clothing factory for 20 years. (He shows family photographs at the end of the interview.)

Interviewee
Kaziemierz Stalmach
Date
1996 May 26  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..