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Oral history interview with Edwin Opoczynski

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1280.23 | RG Number: RG-50.225.0023

Edwin Opoczynski, born in 1918 in Kraków, Poland, recalls his father's career as a physician; living an assimilated lifestyle; attending medical school in 1936 under a Jewish quota; his affinity for leftist organizations; the street attacks on Jewish students; the German invasion; briefly fleeing east; returning home; working in the Jewish hospital; obtaining food from non-Jewish friends; ghettoization; round-ups and deportations; transfer with his family to Płaszów; volunteering for transfer after two weeks; working with medical staff in Szebnie; being deported to Birkenau in November 1943; a friend from Kraków arranging his assignment to be in the hospital; encountering his mother and sister (they were Schindler Jews) the night before he was transferred to Oranienburg in November 1944; being transferred to Buchenwald, then Crawinkel; receiving extra food from Serbian POWs and a friend; a death march to Litoměřice; liberation in May; traveling home; reuniting with his father, mother, and sister; resuming his studies; his military service; his two marriages; his parents' and sister's immigration to Israel in the late 1950s; sharing his experiences with his sons; attributing his survival to luck; exacting revenge on German prisoners in 1945; meeting frequently with fellow survivors; having recurring dreams; and his ongoing commitment to socialism.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Edwin Opoczynski
Barbara Engelking-Boni
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 09:32:16
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