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Oral history interview with Walter Taranowicz

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1992.A.0125.135 | RG Number: RG-50.233.0135

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    Oral history interview with Walter Taranowicz


    Interview Summary
    Walter Taranowicz, born July 22, 1918 in New York City discusses his parents who were Polish-born Catholics; his father’s American citizenship; how during the Great Depression his father took the family to a ranch they owned in Lublin, Poland; his father’s return to the United States for work and subsequent inability to return to Poland; attending Polish schools in the 1930s; planning to get an European education then returning to the US to become an engineer; the outbreak of war in Poland; the arrival of the Russians and loss of the family farm; the family’s attempt to reach the American Consulate in Warsaw, Poland; staying on the German side of the border; his mother and sister’s deportation to Siberia in 1941; his arrest on January 13, 1940 because the Nazis thought he was an American spy; his brutal treatment by the Nazis; being taken with 5,000 Polish men on trucks to Auschwitz; building Birkenau; working as a cabinet maker, making soldier beds, rifle racks, tables, and benches for German army supplies; volunteering in 1942 to transfer with 4,000 others to Mauthausen, where he worked as a cabinet maker with the camp architect; his liberation on May 5th, 1945 by American forces; being taken to Regensburg, Germany to recover; becoming an interpreter in Italy and being stationed in Verona then Milan for seven months; his transfer to the US in the fall of 1945 on the Marine Falcon; the liberation of his mother and sister from a work camp in Siberia; working as a cabinet maker in New York; marrying his wife Sabina; and details about her life.
    Walter Taranowicz
    Anthony DiIorio
    interview:  1992 April 16

    Physical Details

    1 sound cassette (90 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
    Taranowicz, Walter.

    Administrative Notes

    Anthony Dilorio, of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum ID Card Project, conducted the interview with Walter Taranowicz in Hempstead, NY on April 16, 1992.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:24:15
    This page:

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