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Oral history interview with Regina Spiegel

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0094 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0116

Regina Spiegel, (née Gutman) born May 12, 1926 in Radom, Poland, discusses her post-war experiences starting with her liberation; traveling with 3,000 other female prisoners by train from Elsnig, Germany to Dachau, Germany; how the train stopped on the way to Dachau because the railway line had been bombed; how the train itself was bombed by the Allies while stopped on the tracks; being able to escape during the bombing; traveling with 15 other women by horse and buggy to Poland; sleeping in German homes while traveling to Poland; avoiding large groups of Russian soldiers; promising her mother and her boyfriend that if they were separated during the war, they would meet in Radom, Poland; how she and her friends boarded a train in Poznań, Poland without any money; meeting a man on the train with whom she had been imprisoned in Pionki, Poland; returning to Radom where she was told that returning Jews were being killed; returning to the Radom Ghetto, where many displaced persons were gathering; writing her name on a list of displaced persons in the Radom Ghetto; traveling from Radom to Kozienice to reunite with her boyfriend, Sam; leaving Poland with Sam and traveling by train to Prague, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic); traveling with the Joint Distribution Committee from Prague to Pilsen, Czech Republic and then to Germany; staying with Sam in the displaced persons camp Föhrenwald; her marriage to Sam in 1946; moving to Stuttgart, Germany, where she learned to be a seamstress through ORT classes; her involvement with the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York; her religious beliefs and how they changed throughout the war; moving to Washington, DC; how she and Sam learned to speak English; working as a seamstress before giving birth to a daughter in August 1951; her thoughts on the Yugoslavian conflict; her work with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum during its early development; her activity with the Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Friends of Greater Washington; returning with Sam to Auschwitz in 1975; speaking publically about the Holocaust; receiving an award from the United Jewish Appeal; and how she and Sam take groups of 16 to 18 year olds to Poland and Israel through the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Regina Spiegel
Interviewer
Margaret Garrett
Date
interview:  1999 May 11
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (74 min.).