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Oral history interview with Joseph Neumann

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1989.346.51 | RG Number: RG-50.031.0051

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    Oral history interview with Joseph Neumann


    Interview Summary
    Joseph Neumann, born May 29, 1916 in Eastern Slovakia, describes his family’s bakery, where he worked until October 1938; his father, mother, and twelve siblings; how antisemitism was very common in his town; volunteering for the Czech Army in 1938; withdrawing from the army in 1939; going to a labor camp; returning home after two years and finding Jews were being rounded up; going into hiding in the forest; working as a lumberjack; how the SS stormed his hiding place as they were preparing for Passover and arrested everyone; being taken in cattle cars to Auschwitz in April 1942; being beaten as he left the train; being tattooed and quarantined in the barracks overnight; being marched to Birkenau; having a nice Kapo; going to the camp hospital and getting out before he was killed; Himmler's visit to Birkenau; how the nurse gave him new job of watching over supplies in the hospital; thievery in the camp; his job counting dead bodies; working near Dr. Mengele and seeing a change in him after the doctor’s trip to Berlin; helping to save Meyer Kronenberg who was beaten and sentenced to hang for writing letters to his wife; attempted escapes from the camp; the transports to the camp; his sister who was in a Czech camp; being interrogated by the SS guards after his friend tried to escape with his girlfriend; leaving with a transport of Poles in October 1944; hiding in a shed with two men near Dachau, Germany until the end of the war; being liberated by American troops; his reflections on the reasons for the Holocaust; witnessing some of Mengele's twin experiments; how the Holocaust changed his outlook; being wary of speaking about his experiences because he fears discrimination; and the importance of fighting antisemitism.
    Joseph Neumann
    interview:  1988 August 21
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

    Physical Details

    1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois (now Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center) conducted the interview with Joseph Neumann on August 21, 1988. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History branch received the tape of the interview from the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois on December 12, 1989.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:07:15
    This page:

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