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Oral history interview with Nathan Form

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.79 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0079

Nathan Form, born in Kroscienko, Poland on February 28, 1922, being educated in Polish and Hebrew schools; working in his family’s leather factory after 1935; heeding the warning from a Polish policeman to flee and unsuccessfully trying to leave with his family in September 1939; surviving during the German occupation, operating a clandestine leather factory, and barely escaping execution by the Gestapo; working as a slave laborer locally, then in a Gestapo camp near Rabka, Kraków; the facilities for German SS and stormtroopers; the atrocities committed by Ukrainian soldiers; the killing of a Jewish family by the SS at the Rabka camp in 1942; the bravery of a Jewish girl, and how his testimony in a German court helped convict SS Sturmführer Wilhelm Rosenbaum after the war; witnessing mass killings of Jews by German soldiers in Płaszów, after the liquidation of the Krakow ghetto; being a prisoner in Gross-Rosen concentration camp in the spring of 1943, then in a labor camp in Wüstegiersdorf, Germany (Gluszyca, Poland), guarded by the Wehrmacht; his work digging bunkers; the camp closing in January 1945 and being sent on a forced death march to Camp Ebensee, via Mauthausen, to dig tunnels; the brutal conditions, savage beatings, Appells (roll calls), and how he managed to survive while his friend perished; how Germans used various means, including trickery and extermination barracks, just before liberation to kill as many prisoners as possible; conditions in the camp pre and post liberation on May 6, 1945 by Eisenhower’s Eighth Army; how he got treatment for a friend in a German hospital, helped by a Jewish officer who threatened the German staff; the Red Cross caring for survivors; being smuggled with other by the Jewish Brigade to Italy; being in Santo Deszeria, Italy from 1945 to 1947; his life in Paris, France; arriving in the United States on October 29, 1951; how the Holocaust affected him and why he was reluctant to talk about his suffering even to his children; and his reasons for sharing his story now.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Form, Nathan
interview:  1985 April 22
2 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:10:41
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