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Oral history interview with David Eiger

Oral History | Accession Number: 1992.A.0126.11 | RG Number: RG-50.156.0011

David Eiger (Schmuel David Eiger), born November 5, 1922 in Radom, Poland, discusses his father Isaiah (Szaja), who was an accountant and identified as a Zionist, and his mother Hannah Shoshana (Rose) Frydman, who was a homemaker and Orthodox; speaking Yiddish at home; his father spending the year of 1935 in Palestine; his father’s role as the president of Kerem Kayamet L’Yisroel, a Zionist organization; attending a Jewish day school and a Catholic high school; experiencing some antisemitism, including antisemitism from a teacher; not being allowed to attend university or join the military as a Jew; joining his uncle’s family in Lubicz, Poland at the beginning of the war; Jewish men being taken for forced labor, while others were put in two ghettos, one large and one small; the small ghetto which was liquidated; his sister avoiding deportation because she was working in the fields; being taken along with his mother to a central square where a selection was taking place; having a work pass and being let go along with his mother; 3000 Jews remaining in Radom by January 1943; being assigned the task of count loot from Jewish houses; Purim 1943 when the intelligentsia were rounded up and massacred; his mother and sister surviving a round up and massacre; living in a small room with his uncle and his brother-in-law, Jules Zaidenweber (from Lublin); being sent to a camp on Szkolna Street where they lived in barracks; being marched with his family and other prisoners in July 1944 to Tomaszów Mazowiecki; the shooting of his uncle on the journey; being detained three days before being sent to Auschwitz where men and women were separated; reuniting with his father in the camp; the deportation of his mother and sister to Buchenwald; being sent to camp Vaihingen (Wiesengrund), where he remained until April 1945; being sent to Dachau; the numerous deaths from typhoid; staying in Dachau for one day before being sent to Scharnitz, Austria and then back to the German-Austrian border; prisoners being shot by SS officers; the disappearance of the guards; marching with 50 others toward Munich, Germany; being liberated on May 1, 1945 by American troops; working in US Army kitchens for several months; going to Diepholz displaced persons camp to retrieve his mother and sister; his father reuniting with them as well; questioning his Jewish identity; spending four years in Garmisch, Germany working as an accountant; immigrating to the US and arriving in Minneapolis, MN in June 1949 as a displaced person with the help of the International Refugee Organization and HIAS; being very active in the Jewish community; being on the board of the Minnesota Federation of JCCs; his thoughts on Germany; and his wife who was born in the US.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
David Eiger
Interviewer
Rhoda G. Lewin
Date
interview:  1984 February 22
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (90 min.).
 
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:34:13
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn510665