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Oral history interview with Hermann Kosak

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0423 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0072

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

Hermann Kosak, born May 2, 1924 in Vienna, Austria, describes his younger sister, Margaret; how antisemitism was pervasive and being involved in instances of physical violence as early as kindergarten; the growth of the Nazi movement in Austria; the Anschluss in March 1938; seeing Hitler arriving in Vienna in his car; how quickly the Jews were affected by the Nazi’s changes; Kristallnacht and being arrested the next morning; trying to get out of Vienna at age 14 and finally getting to Brussels, Belgium with his mother; the Germans attack on Belgium; how enrolling in art school after the invasion was the most important thing he did; learning survival, watchfulness, and self-reliance at age 16; beginning a diary on May 9, 1940, describing daily life, and keeping the diary until three weeks before liberation; how out of 50 family members, 43 were killed in camps; finally getting visas for him and his sister in November 1947 by forcing his way into the US Embassy and leaving for the United States; arriving in New York City, NY; being a painting instructor; being drafted, released to Reserves, working for a while, and being called back for the Korean War; being married and eventually getting a job with Boeing as an illustrator; and his views on the effects of the Holocaust on humanity.

Interviewee
Hermann Kosak
Interviewer
Margaret Garrett
Date
1997 June 18  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (74 min.).
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:55:33
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn507569