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Oral history interview with Genia Klapholz

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.15 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0015

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    Oral history interview with Genia Klapholz


    Interview Summary
    Genia Klapholz (née Flachs), born in 1912 in Wisnicz, Poland, describes being raised in a religious family; the ghettoization of the town during WWII; witnessing the murder of her baby niece by a German soldier; escaping with her younger sister and paying a woman in a neighboring village to hide them for eight days; having to return to Wisnicz; being transported to the Bochnia ghetto, where they worked in a uniform factory for one year, enduring terrible conditions; moving next to the Szebnie transit camp, where they saw Jews from Tarnow burned alive; her Yiddish poem, “In Memory of My Sister, Serl, of Camp Szebnie” (she reads it during the interview; note that it and another poem, “The Death March from Auschwitz” are included with the transcripts); working for three months as a cleaning woman in a factory at Szebnie; being deported to Auschwitz in 1942, which she describes in detail; the brutal treatment during her two years in Birkenau; working in the ammunition factory, from which four young women smuggled gunpowder for the attempted explosion of the crematoria and witnessing their hanging after they were caught; a particular delousing incident, during which she had to stand in the snow, naked for hours; her foot operation, performed without anesthesia; being forced to leave Auschwitz on a death march in January 1945; escaping with two other women and finding shelter with a Polish woman and her family in Silesia; how this family was recognized as one of the “Righteous among the Nations” by Yad Vashem in 1991; being liberated by the Russians on March 28, 1945 and returning to Krakow, Poland in search of her family; living in displaced persons camps in Ainring, Regensburg, and Landsberg, where she met and married Henry Klapholz; immigrating with her husband and baby son in 1948 to the United States; buying a farm in Vineland, NJ; and moving to Philadelphia, PA in 1955.
    Genia Klapholz
    K. Fisher
    interview:  1981 July 29
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive

    Physical Details

    2 sound cassettes (60 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

    Personal Name
    Klapholz, Genia, 1912-

    Administrative Notes

    The Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive conducted the interview with Genia Klapholz in Philadelphia, Pa., on July 29, 1981. 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 08:35:59
    This page:

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