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Oral history interview with Maurice Gesundheit

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1281.10 | RG Number: RG-50.146.0010

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

Maurice Gesundheit, born in 1906 in Warsaw, Poland, discusses arriving in Paris, France in 1925; his parents, who were already living in Paris; his brother, who was born in France; being a student when the war began; the first round up on May 14, 1941 in the 11th arrondissement of Paris; being taken to Pithiviers; being deported to Birkenau in cattle wagons on the July 23, 1941; how the gas chambers and the crematoriums were still under construction when they arrived; his experiences upon arrival; his work at the camp transporting soil; going to the building school and working as a bricklayer; being transferred to Auschwitz and being given striped clothing to wear; staying at Auschwitz until the evacuation in 1944; being an instructor for building and bricklaying at Auschwitz; the demographics of the “school” which included teenage Roma, Ukrainians, Greeks, and Italians; the closing of the school after the evacuation; a selection process of just the Jews; a regular day at Auschwitz from morning till night; being sent to Buchenwald at the end of January 1945; being liberated from Buchenwald in early April 1945; returning to Paris and his interaction with civilian Germans on the journey; his wife, who was also deported and was very sick when she returned to Paris; the process of regaining his apartment, which had been given to a French chef working for the Germans; having to undergo a legal process to get the apartment back; the various reactions the population of Paris had to the return of the Jews; and his perspective on the fate of future generations and the transmission of the events of the Holocaust to those generations.

Interviewee
Maurice Gesundheit
Date
interview:  1994
Language
French
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-09-05 10:15:36
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn507943