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Oral history interview with Helmut Kobler

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.91 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0091

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

Helmut Kobler discusses his childhood in Vienna, Austria and Pohranice, Czechoslovakia; his experiences growing up with his Jewish father and Catholic mother; his experiences after the annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938; his mother's decision to move herself and her son to Brno, Czechoslovakia; the conditions they lived under; the Nazis' search for his father; being deported to a camp near Ivancice, Czechoslovakia in 1939; the camp’s transformation from a concentration camp to a forced labor camp; working as a coal miner at the camp; the camp’s liquidation in June 1942; being transferred to another labor camp near Oslavany; the work he continued as a coal miner; the conditions at the camp; the brutality of the Czech and German guards; being transferred in the summer of 1944 to a labor camp near Postoloprty (Postelberg), Czechoslovakia; working to construct an underground fuel pipeline; an accusation against him of sabotage; his subsequent imprisonment in Saaz, Czechoslovakia and Karlsbad, Germany; the brutality of the guards; the poor conditions there; his escape from Karlsbad while out on a labor detail; being recaptured in Brno; the executions he witnessed while imprisoned there; being transferred by cattle car to a prison in Mirosov; escaping from Mirosov in May 1945, a few days before liberation by the United States Army; the aid he received from refugee organizations after the war; reuniting with his mother; being educated as a mining engineer; defecting to the west with a sample of uranium ore; moving to Canada; immigrating to the United States.

Interviewee
Helmut Kobler
Interviewer
Jake Birnberg
Peggy Coster
Date
1992 August 13  (interview)
1992 November 23  (interview)
1993 June 17  (interview)
1993 September 09  (interview)
1993 February 11  (interview)
1994 March 11  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 videocassettes (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, acquired from Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:58:28
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn508150