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Oral history interview with Abraham Zwirek

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1285.57 | RG Number: RG-50.149.0057

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Abraham Zwirek, born in 1926 in Plock, Poland, describes his family; his education; experiencing antisemitism; his family’s business; his family’s Zionist sympathies and religious practices; the German invasion of Poland in September 1939; seeing the destruction in Gąbin, Poland; expecting help from Britain and France; the confiscation of Jewish property, including his father’s business and the family home; restrictions on Jews; beatings of Jews in the streets; living in the Plock ghetto; smuggling food into the ghetto; Jewish ghetto police; food rations; the obligation to work for Germans and treatment of workers; maintaining morale; liquidation of the ghetto in early 1941; living in the Suchedniow ghetto; escaping from the ghetto; his mother being sent to Treblinka; being in Skarzysko concentration camp from 1941 to 1944; his work duties; being beaten by a Ukrainian guard for stealing potatoes; the execution of people unfit for work; his tooth being extracted; suicides; being in Buchenwald concentration camp form July 1944 to September 1944; his work serving food; being in Schlieben concentration camp from September 1944 to March 1945; his work duties; the kindness of the German construction supervisor in the quarry after an accident; Allied bombing raids on the camp; the suicide of a fellow inmate; the behavior of a female SS guard; the operation on his hand without anesthetic; suspected sabotage of the factory; evacuation of the camp in March 1945; being sent to Theresienstadt concentration camp in March 1945; contracting typhoid; being liberated by the Russians; the death of former inmates from over eating; contracting mumps; the Russian attitude towards revenge against Germans; the fate of his family during the Holocaust; further details on Buchenwald; his Holocaust experience; his attitude towards Poles and Germans; being smuggled by a Russian soldier to Czechoslovakia; and his first impressions of England.

Interviewee
Abraham Zwirek
Date
1986 January 16  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
3 sound cassettes (90 min.).
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:52:50
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn510860