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Oral history interview with Arnold Mostowitz

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1280.8 | RG Number: RG-50.225.0008

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

Arnold Mostowicz (former name Aaron Moszkowicz and born in Lódz, Poland on April 6 1914) describes growing up in a non-traditional Jewish family; his father, who had a passion for theatre and was involved in left wing organizations; attending Polish and Jewish schools in Lódz; studying medicine in France, where he was affiliated with left-wing and syndical movements; being a founder of a Jewish student association in Toulouse, France; his analysis of the prospects and obstacles to the young Jewish intelligentsia before the Second World War; returning to Poland shortly before the outbreak of the war; working in a hospital during the German attack on Warsaw; returning to Lódz; the establishment of a Jewish council in Lódz; the Germans killing Rumkowski’s first cabinet; his defense of Rumkowski as a Jewish leader; the gradual changes which took place in the Jewish community; the relocation of all Jews to the ghetto; conditions in the ghetto; the differences between the ghettos in Warsaw and Lódz, particularly the black market; the production of goods in the ghetto; his work in the hospital and the types of illnesses present; having to triage patients; assisting the underground by providing false diagnosis and pronouncing individuals unfit to be transported out of the ghetto; prostitution in the ghetto; left wing activists in the ghetto; the first deportation from the ghetto in 1942 that consisted of the old, young, and sick; the Romani camp in the ghetto and the typhoid epidemic; the Roma being deported to the Chełmno death camp; the transports of Jews from Germany and Czechoslovakia to the Lódz ghetto; saving a little Jewish German girl from starvation; the radio contact and political awareness in the ghetto; knowing about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising; the liquidation of the ghetto; selection on the platform in Auschwitz, where he was sent with his wife; his psychological method for surviving Auschwitz; his friend, Kępiński (Kempinski), who served in the “Kanada” unit; starvation and the impact on brain functions; his transport to the camp in Jelenia Góra (Hirschberg); soccer matches between the German soldiers and camp prisoners in Jelenia Góra; being transferred to the camp in Cieplice (German: Bad Warmbrunn), where he assisted in the response to typhoid epidemics; getting sick after the war with tuberculosis and giving up his career of a medical doctor; concentrating on his writing career and becoming the head editor for the satirical magazine “Szpilki”; being a chair of the Society for Jewish Fighters for Freedom and Democracy (Związek Kombatantów Żydowskich); and considering Poland his home country despite experiencing antisemitic persecution.

Interviewee
Arnold Mostowicz
Date
1994 July  (interview)
Language
Polish
Extent
7 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:41:17
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn507770