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Oral history interview with Herbert Finder

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.35 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0035

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    Oral history interview with Herbert Finder


    Interview Summary
    Herbert Finder, born in Vienna, Austria on April 22, 1929, describes his Polish father, who was an Austrian citizen, and his German mother; antisemitic acts he experienced in school; the Anschluss and his family’s flight to Breda, Belgium; attending a Jewish school in Antwerp, Belgium; receiving American visas in April 1940 but lacking the funds to travel and being trapped by the German invasion; his father being sent to a camp near Toulouse, France; fleeing with his mother and uncle to Southern France; living with a Jewish farmer, who took in many refugees, for two years; his father joining them after his release; living on a farm in Duvernay; his mother returning to Antwerp to salvage their visas and her deportation in September 1942; learning that she had been killed; remaining on the farm with his father until they were arrested as foreigners in August 1942 by French police; being sent to a camp in Viviers then to Drancy; being shipped east on the 28th convoy to work at Oberschlesien osten, near Katowice, Poland on September 4, 1942; remaining with his father at the labor camp of Tarnoviche (Tarnosky Gura); how the internal affairs of the camp were run by Polish Jews who reported to the Germans; being sent with other inmates in the spring of 1943 to Sosnowiec; being transferred in November 1943 to Birkenau, where they were tattooed and suffered brutal conditions; seeing the crematoria; being moved to Auschwitz for one night and then to the Warsaw Ghetto to clear rubble until July 1944; the ghetto, where non-Jewish German prisoners were in charge; prisoners trading for food with Poles; a typhus epidemic killing many; working in a burial detail that burned corpses of the victims who were shot in Paviak (Pawiak Prison); how as Russians approached in July 1944 the prisoners began a three-day forced march to Łódź, Poland then went to Dachau in sealed cattle cars without food or water; his father recuperating from an injury while Herbert was sent to Allach, a camp where Jews and non-Jews built an underground factory; his father joining him after three weeks; being put on flat cars in April 1945 and after two days the German guards disappeared and the prisoners were liberated by Americans on April 30th; how in May 1945, he and his father went to Antwerp via Stuttgart and France; their survival strategies and faith in God; going to the United States in December 1946; living in New York City, NY until 1950; and settling in Vineland, NJ.
    Herbert Finder
    interview:  1987 February 19
    interview:  1987 March 19
    interview:  1987 March 26
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive

    Physical Details

    3 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
    Finder, Herbert.

    Administrative Notes

    The Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive conducted the interview with Herbert Finder in Philadelphia, PA on February 19, March 19 and March 26, 1987. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the tapes of the interview from Gratz College on September 22, 1998.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:36:07
    This page:

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