Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Leopold Koslowski

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1280.21 | RG Number: RG-50.225.0021

Leopold Koslowski, born in 1918 in Przemyslany, Poland (now Peremyshliany, Ukraine), discusses his family's history as famous klezmer musicians; attending a multi-ethnic school; his studies in L'viv; his friendships with non-Jews; the Soviet occupation; the German invasion; escaping east; returning home after the Germans overtook them; the formation of the ghetto and Judenrat; working in a hospital; a mass killing which included his father; building a bunker under their house; hiding in an outhouse, which still haunts him, and in the bunker; receiving food from non-Jewish friends; reluctance to escape from the ghetto; escaping execution after playing music for the German police; being deported to Jaktorów concentration camp; working in the Krosenko (Korosne) quarry; playing in a camp band; under threat of severe punishment, teaching an SS-guard to play a waltz; a German for whom he played bringing his mother to Jaktorów; being transferred to Kurowice (Kurovichi); being abused while playing to a group of drunken Germans; making contact with A.K. partisans; stealing weapons for the AK; his mother being shot during his escape to the partisans with his brother; fighting Germans and Ukrainian partisans; writing songs and playing for his platoon; returning to Peremyshliany; moving to L'viv; joining the Polish Peoples Army; playing for the soldiers; meeting American troops at the Laba River; living in Kraków; organizing a singing and dancing group; studying conducting at the Academy of Music; becoming the music director of the Jewish Theater in Warsaw; and writing songs and music for film and theater.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Leopold Koslowski
Michal Sobelman
interview:  1995 May 12
4 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:32:15
This page: