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Oral history interview with Henry Lipschitz

Oral History | Accession Number: 1996.A.0586.64 | RG Number: RG-50.407.0064

Henry Lipschitz (also spelled Lipschutz), born on March 1, 1917 in Poland (possibly in Wieleń), discusses his father, Moishe, and mother, Zesu; his older brother and three younger sisters; his middle-class family’s two flour mills (still in existence); having a traditional Jewish life; the antisemitism among Poles of his village; speaking only Yiddish in the home; how most of his family remained in Poland after Hitler’s rise and ultimately perished; his surprise that the Zionist community also remained in Poland rather than leave for Palestine; being in the army infantry service in early 1939 and encountering antisemitism; after the German victory, witnessing the separation of Jews from Poles and execution of some Jews; being taken to Germany as a POW; being separated into national-religious blocks; being sent home to Poland after the Nazi-Soviet pact; working as a painter for the Nazi occupiers; being sent to the Łódź ghetto in 1942; being rounded up with thousands of Jews and being forced to hold many of them while a German officer named Grosmann shot them; wanting to be shot himself, and not understanding how he survived, but speculating that he was young and strong enough to work; watching his parents and sisters along with over 9,000 (out of a group of approximately 10,000) being sent to Chelmno by truck and hearing of this group’s extermination by gas; believing this story while others did not; not wanting to be interviewed for this story but being urged to do so by his children and grandchildren; joining the fire brigade in the Łódź ghetto; conditions in the ghetto, including starvation; urging mothers to hide their children; watching trainloads of Jews being taken away; not feeling guilty for his killing of about fifteen Germans after the war; Jewish cooperation in selections for transport; final liquidation of the Łódź ghetto in August 1944; being transported by train to Auschwitz; selections at Birkenau; details of existence and struggle for survival in the camp; being sent to Mauthausen and later to Ebensee camp and survival ploys in those places; liberation and brief return to Poland where he found almost no one he knew alive; leaving Poland for Germany, where he met his wife in 1947; immigrating to Australia in 1948; losing his belief in God; and advising Jews of today to fight. [Post-interview, shows various photos, prewar and postwar.]


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Henry Lipschitz
Interviewer
Moshe Morris
Date
interview:  1996 July 14
Language
English
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
 
Record last modified: 2020-04-07 11:00:06
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn505847