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Oral history interview with Aaron Stolzman

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.71 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0071

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    Oral history interview with Aaron Stolzman


    Interview Summary
    Aaron Stolzman, born on December 28, 1925 in Dobrzyn, Poland, describes his father, who was a grocer and an officer in the Polish Army; his father’s death while fighting the Germans; his life before 1939; the local Jewish community and his family taking in Polish Jews who were expelled from Germany in 1938; the effects of the German occupation; being evicted by their German neighbors and fleeing to the Mlawa ghetto, where they stayed for about six months; witnessing German atrocities; joining an underground organization in the ghetto; leaving the ghetto with false papers and a new identity; going to work for a Polish farmer and then for the German army, posing as a Pole; connecting with a resistance group that lived in underground bunkers in the forest; how in September 1942 Germans destroyed their bunkers and he was taken to Auschwitz, where he stayed until 1945; how he and 200 young boys actually built Auschwitz; working on several other Kommandos building ammunition factories and underground transformers; living and working conditions in Auschwitz, where most prisoners only survived a week or two; knowing about the gas chambers and crematoriums; his escape attempt with the help of a Polish civilian and the terrible punishment the Germans inflicted on him; why escape was impossible; being put into Block 11, which few prisoners survived; being tortured and interrogated; being sent on a death march in 1945 to Gross-Rosen with prisoners from Buna and Birkenau; being sent to Dachau by freight train under horrible conditions; how the men who survived the trip were put into a barracks with prisoners who had typhoid; working on a Kommando at Muhldorf building underground hangars for the German air force; how he learned to survive; the evacuation of the camp by train and the Germans tried to murder the prisoners; how a Wehrmacht soldier, under direct orders from Heinrich Himmler to shoot them all, stalled the train until the US Army arrived; some Jews taking revenge on the German guards; liberation by the American Third Army; the establishment of Feldafind displaced persons camp and the post-liberation conditions; attempts by the Polish government to persuade Polish Jews to return; going to the United States on December 20, 1947; and the loss of the majority of his family.
    Aaron Stolzman
    interview:  1985 April 21
    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
    Stolzman, Aaron, 1925-

    Administrative Notes

    The Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive conducted the interview with Aaron Stolzman in Philadelphia, Pa., on April 21, 1985. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the tapes of the interview from Gratz College on September 30, 1999.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:36:20
    This page:

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