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Oral history interview with Fred Roth

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.8.26 | RG Number: RG-50.063.0026

Fred Roth, born in Jersey City, NJ on October 8, 1921, describes attending an Orthodox temple with his family; enlisting in the army in 1942; his altruistic Austrian parents; having a lot of non-Jewish friends as a child; attending a Jesuit university in New Jersey; his family’s efforts to send money to relatives in Berlin, Germany so they could leave and hosting relatives when they emigrated; his strong relationship with his father; joining the aviation cadets in California; qualifying as a twin engine bomber pilot and receiving his training on B-25s (Mitchell bombers) and B-26s (Marauder bombers); graduating in September 1943 from the Air Force; being sent to Europe in June 1944 a week after D-Day; flying supplies into France for Patton's troops; being shot down during Operation Market Garden in September 1944; his resentment toward Field Marshal Montgomery for his failure during the operation; being shot at while they attempted crossing the English Channel; his memories of the bullets hitting his place, which sounded like a typewriter; landing in the ocean with his engines cut off and at a very low speed; the survival of the all four men in his plane; escaping to their raft and being blown toward Holland, Netherlands; surrendering to the Germans; keeping a diary along with his crew on any pieces of paper they could find; being interrogated thoroughly by the Germans, but only giving his name, rank, and serial number; being sent to Dulog Lauf, where there was a school that had been converted into a camp; being separated by military rank; being sent in October 1944 with his crew to Stalag Luft I in Barth, Germany, where he was put into the Jewish sector of the camp; being liberated by the Russians on May 1, 1945; celebrating with the Yiddish-speaking Russians; liberating a small nearby labor camp; conditions in the labor camp, where half the inmates had died; being discharged on October 28, 1945; his emaciated condition upon liberation; and his strong faith and belief in the state of Israel.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Fred Roth
interview:  1989 November 24
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:32:31
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