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Oral history interview with Sam Bankhalter

Oral History | Accession Number: 1992.A.0126.4 | RG Number: RG-50.156.0004

Sam Bankhalter (Jewish name, Saja), born in Łódź, Poland in 1926, describes his parents and grandparents; his father’s lumber and construction business; their interactions with non-Jews; antisemitism in Poland; his education; his family’s religious activities; the anti-Jewish propaganda in Poland; the German invasion; going to Warsaw, Poland with his brothers; the bombardment in Warsaw; returing to Łódź; the Littmanstadt Ghetto; his grandmother living with his family and dying later in the ghetto; being picked up on February 28, 1940 during the “Bloody Thursday” (also called “Blitigah Donestik”) roundup and being deported to Auschwitz; being forced to build the Auschwitz camp; escaping the camp and getting back to Łódź; being rounded up again and sent to Krakow, Poland then Auschwitz; being sent to several different camps between 1940 and 1945, including Buchenwald, Netzbachtahl, Krevinkl, and Ohrdruf; his experiences in the Warsaw ghetto; daily life in Auschwitz and working in the crematorium for 11 months; the typhus epidemic in the camp; his methods for survival; selections in the camp; his parents coming to Auschwitz and dying; the Poles, Romanies, and political prisoners in the camp; his limited interactions with other inmates; being evacuated from Auschwitz and sent on a death march to Buchenwald; being liberated; being sent to a hospital in Marseille, France; how his older brother committed suicide in Auschwitz; receiving help from HIAS; living in a displaced persons camp in Frankfurt, Germany; getting married in Germany to another Holocaust survivor; living in Israel and helping to smuggle people in to Israel; immigrating to the United States; speaking to his children about his experiences during the Holocaust; ethnic relations in the US; and his personal philosophies.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Bankhalter, Sam
Lewin, Rhoda G.
interview:  1984 August 13
1 sound cassette (90 min.).
Record last modified: 2022-06-23 09:45:45
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