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Oral history interview with Hilda Thieberger

Oral History | Accession Number: 1993.A.0095.84 | RG Number: RG-50.163.0084

Hilda Thieberger (née Hildegarde Goldberger), born on February 26, 1913 in Teschen, Silesia (Cieszyn, Poland), describes how the town was half Czech and half Polish; having a Czech passport; getting married to Irving Thieberger on November 11, 1935; having a daughter in February 1937 in Bielsko, Poland; the plundering of Jewish stores in the fall of 1937; going with her child to her sister-in-law in Zabjek, Poland (possibly Zabrzeg); the German invasion and her husband’s imprisonment for three months; smuggling themselves into the Auschwitz (Oświęcim) ghetto and wearing armbands with star; Jews being forced to build a camp in June 1940; her husband being sent to Belice work camp in 1941; going to the Sosnowice ghetto; going to the Belice work camp in 1941 and living with her husband in an attic; bribing guards with food and whiskey; witnessing hangings in the street; having to wear the yellow star; working for a year as a cook and seamstress for the SS; her husband going to Gleiwitz-Blechhammer; joining her husband in Bystra in December 1943; hiding in a hole in a basement in the summer of 1944 and getting false ID papers; the Allies approaching and hearing Auschwitz inmates marching in January 1945; their house being bombed on February 10, 1945 and seeing Russian soldiers; renting an apartment in May 1945; having a second child in December 1945; going to Ostrow, Czechoslovakia on false papers in August 1946; going to Hof, Germany in October 1946 and the difficult conditions in the camp; going to Landau, Germany and staying in the displaced persons camp for four years; going to the United States and settling in Washington, DC; living on a chicken farm in Pennsylvania for five years; returning to Washington, DC, where her husband did metal artwork for the Smithsonian Institution; and her husband making the menorah for the White House.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Thieberger, Hilda
Schwartz, Gail
interview:  1989 July 25
6 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Record last modified: 2022-06-23 09:46:10
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