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Oral history interview with Joseph Wolke

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1996.A.0172 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0025

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    Oral history interview with Joseph Wolke


    Interview Summary
    Joseph Wolke (Wolkeovich), born July 14, 1919 in Tomashov (Tomaszów Mazowiecki), Poland, discusses his family background and religious upbringing; his father’s successful farm outside the city; the rise of Hitler and antisemitism; racial laws against Jews; being deported during Rosh Hashanah; arriving in Krakow, Poland on a cattle train; his disbelief that the war would last so long; escaping from the Germans and returning to Tomashov by bus; how the farm provided for the family; increases in the deportation of Jews; living in the Tomashov ghetto; smuggling food into the ghetto; the liquidation of the ghetto on November 1, 1942; the mass burial of Jews in the ghetto for which he was forced to dig graves; being deported to Bergen-Belsen; being transferred on a cattle train to Auschwitz; forced labor digging ditches outside the camp; being relocated to Gross-Rosen camp; the death march from Rosen, which lasted over a week; starvation during the march; liberation by Russian forces; returning home to Poland; meeting his wife and having a child; immigrating to the United States in August 1950; living in Baltimore, MD with his wife’s family; adjusting to American life; creating a business; and learning the fate of his family members in the years following the war.
    Joseph Wolke
    Gail Schwartz
    interview:  1996 April 29
    creation: Silver Spring (Md.)

    Physical Details

    Oral histories.
    4 sound cassettes (60 min.).

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Wolke, Joseph, 1919-

    Administrative Notes

    Gail Schwartz, a volunteer for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History branch conducted this interview on April 29, 1996 in Silver Spring, MD. The interview was transfered to the Archives on April 29, 1996.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:12:00
    This page:

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