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Oral history interview with Ernest Rosin

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0033 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0383

Ernest Rosin, born on March 20, 1913 in Znina, Slovakia, discusses growing up with six older siblings; his parents and their small shop in the village; his older brother’s immigration to the US; the tension between Germans, Slovakians, and Hungarians in his hometown; doing two years of military service which stopped him from immigrating to Palestine; taking training courses in Pressburg (Bratislava, Slovakia) to go to Palestine in 1939; his first encounters with antisemitism in 1942; going home to his family for Passover and being arrested by the police; being sent to Auschwitz in 1942 and then being moved to Birkenau two days later; witnessing a gassing in a farmhouse on the way to Auschwitz; working in the gravel pits at Birkenau; being a prisoner of higher rank and working for the SS; keeping notes on the number of deaths for the SS; rescuing his friend, Andre Mueller, and hiding him in Birkenau; his friends’ work at the camps (working in the crematorium); meeting and befriending Erich Kulka and Otto Kraus; being tortured by the Gestapo for helping two prisoners escape; his plan to escape Birkenau and flee to Russia; hiding in a hole in the gravel pits for three days with another prisoner and then escaping Birkenau in 1944; the train journey to Zakopane, Poland and walking to Slovakia; being arrested and questioned by the gendarmerie; bribing the police and being released; living in secret in Pressburg and meeting other escapees; moving house every few months to evade being arrested; his marriage in 1946; being a witness in the Auschwitz trials; living in Palestine and Prague from 1946 to 1949; moving back to Pressburg; the persecution of Jews in 1954; working for the Czechoslovakian television from 1960 to 1966; and his brother and sister-in-law’s visit and their reaction to what happened in Slovakia during the war.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ernest Rosin
Ulrike Jureit
interview:  1997 February 03
8 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..