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Oral history interview with Arie Taboh

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.370 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0370

Arie Taboh, born in 1925 in Thessalonike, Greece, discusses being the fourth of six children; having a large and close extended family; cordial relations with non-Jews until the rise of a fascist party in the 1930s; his mother's death in 1937; working in a carpentry factory to help support his family; his older brother's marriage and the births of his two children; military draft of two brothers; German invasion; a round-up of Jewish men over 18 in July 1942 for forced labor, including two brothers; a non-Jew taking one of them to his workshop to protect him; ghettoization; starvation; chief rabbi Zvi Koretz giving public assurances about deportations; deportation with his family to Auschwitz-Birkenau in March 1943; his friend Heinz K. translating from German to Greek; separation with his father and brothers from his sisters; slave labor with his brother digging ditches; his father doing odd jobs in the barrack; his brother saving him when he became aggressive toward a guard; assignment with his brother to a privileged factory job; receiving extra food from the non-Jewish workers; smuggling food to his father and friends; learning of the gas chambers and crematoria; his father's selection for gassing; and public hangings; receiving greetings from his sister through other Greek prisoners and learning she had been gassed; his brother's transfer; meeting his sister-in-law; learning of the Sonderkommando uprising; a death march to Gross-Rosen in January 1945; carrying a Greek friend who could no longer walk; train transfer days later to Oranienburg/Sachsenhausen, then to Mauthausen about a month later; registering himself and a friend as non-Jewish political prisoners; harassment by a homosexual Kapo; a severe beating; reunion with his brother; slave labor felling trees; losing his will to live; being hidden by Spanish Catholics; liberation by United States troops; observing revenge killings of Germans; assistance from the Red Cross; trying to follow his brother to Greece; traveling to Salzburg with the Jewish Brigade; living in Modena for several months; assistance from the Joint and UNRRA; illegal immigration by ship to Palestine; interdiction by the British; incarceration on Cyprus for five months; joining his aunt and uncle in Palestine; joining the Haganah; being injured dismantling mines; military service in the 1948 war; marriage; establishing a carpentry business; the births of his two daughters; how fear defined his life in camps; prisoner hierarchies; continuing nightmares and painful memories; sharing his experiences with his family; and visits to his brother in the United States. (He shows a photograph.)

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Arie Taboh
interview:  2000 March 16
16 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:33:39
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