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Oral history interview with Joseph Neumann

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

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.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Neumann, Joseph
interview:  1988 August 21
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2022-06-23 09:43:58
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