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Oral history interview with Ignace Speiser

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.481.37 | RG Number: RG-50.062.0037

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

Ignace (né Yitzhak) Speiser, born January 5, 1908 in Warsaw, Poland, describes his second wife; studying in Paris, France after WWI; learning to play the mandolin and the violin; going to the consortium in Warsaw; being age 21 when he attended the Ecole de Musique in Paris; officially leaving Warsaw in 1931; his siblings and his parents; trying to leave France for the United States in 1939 but being prevented by the beginning of the war; being taken by the Germans from Toulouse, France in 1943; being sent to a concentration camp in Danzig (Gdańsk), Poland; being asked to play his violin; how the inmates dug a tunnel, which was discovered; how all the imamates were deported to Auschwitz; being on the train with his friend, a cantor, who sang one symphony the whole ride; how people jumped off the train; how his wife was still in Toulouse; being separated from the others at Auschwitz because he was a musician; playing Ernest Bloch’s Baal Sham; going to Fürstengrube to work in a coal mine, but being separated as a musician with his opera singer friend; being beaten once; being in Birkenau for a few weeks; how a dentist would bring him food and ask him to play Mozart; having a birthday party in 1945; how he had been in Auschwitz for two years and Fürstengrube for one year; giving concerts once or twice a week in Fürstengrube; how after awhile he was not afraid of dying; selection processes; being removed from Auschwitz in January 1945 at which point they were walking and on the train; going to a place near Lübeck, Germany and being taken by the Red Cross to Sweden; the conditions on the train and the deaths during the journey; and his tattoo.

Interviewee
Ignace Speiser
Interviewer
Judy Weightman
Date
1987 December 20  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 videocassette (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, acquired from the Hawaii Holocaust Project
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:49:35
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn511108