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Oral history interview with George Pisik

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1278 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0124

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

George Pisik, born May 25, 1925, describes his experience as a soldier in the U.S. Army’s 15th armored division, 10th infantry battalion; entering Dachau in May 1945 without any prior knowledge of concentration camps; his battalion’s doctor trying to help the prisoners; searching a guard who was subsequently taken by prisoners and killed in the barracks; meeting a 19 year-old female prisoner in Dachau and giving her the mezuzah his grandmother had given him to wear; receiving almost 100 mezuzahs from his family and friends after writing them; giving these mezuzahs to chaplains to distribute and to his fellow soldiers, telling them they were good luck charms; entering Munich and seeing the giant swastika on Munich Stadium, which his commander ordered to be destroyed by tank fire; seeing Germans surrender; conflicts with German civilians; suffering from trench foot and impetigo; returning to the United States expecting to be sent to Japan but staying after the bombing of Hiroshima; after his homecoming, using a swastika flag as a doormat, which drew the attention of the neighborhood and the police when his mother washed it and hung it out to dry; bringing home pistols which his mother took to the army depot to be deactivated; returning to college; his frustration with Holocaust deniers, including a Catholic priest he met in 1950 in Louisiana; the failings of the Catholic Church during the Holocaust; his feelings towards the Germans; his belief that a holocaust could happen again; his level of religious involvement; and the importance of education in preventing another holocaust.

Interviewee
George Pisik
Date
1993 July 14  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 sound cassette (90 min.).
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Record last modified: 2018-05-09 09:27:29
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn506635