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Oral history interview with Margaret Beer

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.2 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0002

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    Oral history interview with Margaret Beer


    Interview Summary
    Margaret Beer (née Weiss), born in 1911 in Sziget, Hungary (Sighet, Romania), describes the German invasion of Hungary; S.S. troops being moved into many Jewish homes, including hers; how the troops with the help of Hungarian authorities identified prominent Jews who were forced to form a Jewish council; the Germans confiscating Jewish businesses and personal property; ghettoization; how the Jews were helped by non-Jewish Hungarians, who smuggled food into the ghetto; the evacuation of all Jewish patients from the local hospital; the formation of a Jewish police force; the evacuation of the Jews from the ghetto and the transports to Auschwitz; life in Auschwitz including the initial selection, showers, barracks, Appells, work conditions, food allotment, wash barracks, and her selection by Mengele; transported to Gelsenkirchen, Germany in July 1944 to work in the Krupp armament industry; the working conditions and Allied bombings; being transferred to Sömmerda in Thuringia, Germany in September 1944 to work in another ammunition factory; being evacuated from the camp in April 1945 when the Allies got closer; escaping during the march and eventually finding housing in a German village until liberation at the end of April 1945; receiving help from Russian POW’s and later American liberators; and her skills as a dressmaker helping sustain her until May 1946 when she could join her brother in Philadelphia, PA.
    Margaret Beer
    interview:  1992
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive

    Physical Details

    1 sound cassette (90 min.).

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Topical Term
    Bombing, Aerial--Germany--Gelsenkirchen. Concentration camp inmates--Selection process. Death march survivors. Death marches. Escapes. Forced labor. Holocaust survivors. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. Jewish councils--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei. Jewish ghettos--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei. Jewish police officers--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei. Jewish property--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei. Jewish women in the Holocaust. Jews--Persecutions--Romania. Jews--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei. Prisoners of war--Soviet Union. Roll calls. Smuggling--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei. Soldiers--Billeting--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei. Soldiers--United States. Women concentration camp inmates. Women dressmakers. World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor. World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Romania. Women--Personal narratives.
    Personal Name
    Beer, Margaret, 1911-

    Administrative Notes

    The Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive conducted the interview with Margaret Beer in Dover, NH in 1992. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the tapes of the interview from Gratz College on September 26, 1997.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:35:54
    This page:

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