Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Josef Garlinski

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1285.14 | RG Number: RG-50.149.0014

Josef Garlinski, born in Kiev, Poland (now Ukraine), in 1913, describes growing up in Poland; his family circumstances and education; the languages he spoke; conditions during the Russian Revolution; attending university in Warsaw, Poland, and studying law; his memories of the start of the war on September 1, 1939 at which time he was stationed in Warsaw with the Polish Army; the operations with the 1st Lancers, Polish Army; the morale in his regiment; the use of horses; German blitzkrieg tactics; the failure of Britain and France to act; being wounded near Zamosc, Poland, on September 22, 1939; being captured by German troops; the German fifth column; attitudes of other nationalities including Jews to the German invasion; being hospitalized in a German field hospital from September - October 1939; escaping from the hospital and going to Warsaw; his marriage to a British woman; his counter-intelligence work with Polish Home Army in Warsaw; the nature of counter-intelligence work; the use of an agent within the Gestapo headquarters as well as forged documents; trust within the resistance; women's endurance under interrogation; methods of cutting contact with arrested resistance members; the problems of political rivalries; narrow escapes from German round ups; being arrested by the Gestapo in April 20, 1943; the destruction of documents in Gestapo headquarters; his interrogation; his contact with a women agent in prison; reasons for hiding identity; the sight of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising; the death penalty for sheltering Jews; his prior knowledge of Auschwitz; being sent to Auschwitz in 1943 and his initial impressions of the camp; his selection for the penal company; the meaning of the allocation of a red circle within the penal company; receiving food parcels; the reasons for his transfer to Neuengamme; conditions in the camp and the control by Communist trustees; the nature of resistance in the camps; the exploitation by the SS and the SS policy of divide and rule; respect for Jehovah's Witnesses; the liberation of Neuengamme in May 1945; and the effect of the camp experience on him.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Garliński, Józef
interview:  1989 October 19
3 sound cassettes (90 min.).
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:09:49
This page: