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Oral history interview with William Himmelfarb

Oral History | Accession Number: 1992.A.0125.55 | RG Number: RG-50.233.0055

William Himmelfarb, born on July 19, 1927 in Koprzywnica, Poland, describes his siblings; his parents; speaking Yiddish at home; attending school; the German invasion in 1939; living with three other families in their house; doing forced labor; the Judenrat (Jewish council); the restrictions placed on Jews; the formation of ghettos; being taken with others to Skarzysko-Kamienna; his work in the camp; hearing that the Jews in Koprzywnica were annihilated; suffering from typhoid; his kind supervisor; the dangers of working with ammunition; being taken by cattle train to Czestochowa; being placed on trains soon after and sent through Leipzeig, Germany to Buchenwald; arriving in the camp on July 18, 1944; the processing of prisoners; the Kapos; working in a quarry; being sent to Schlieben; working in a factory for anti-tank grenades; an explosion in the factory and how he still doesn’t know if it was due to sabotage or an accident; rebuilding the factory that had been destroyed; the difficult conditions in the camp; being sent out of the camp by cattle cars in April 1945 towards Theresienstadt; being abandoned by the guards during an air raid of their train; getting to Theresienstadt, where he received medical care in the hospital; being liberated by the Russians; going to Prague, Czech Republic then Windermere, England; being sent by the British government with other Jewish youths from city to city; staying in a boys’ home with 15 other boys in Winchester; living in England for five years; going to the United States in 1950; serving during the Korean War; getting married in 1951; and never returning to Poland.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
William Himmelfarb
Anthony DiIorio
interview:  1992 April 12
2 sound cassettes (90 min.).
Record last modified: 2021-02-16 15:52:21
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