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Oral history interview with Hilda Thieberger

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

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    Oral history interview with Hilda Thieberger


    Interview Summary
    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.
    Hilda Thieberger
    Gail Schwartz
    interview:  1989 July 25

    Physical Details

    6 sound cassettes (60 min.).

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    Administrative Notes

    The interview with Hilda Thieberger was conducted on July 25, 1989 as part of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington's oral history project to document Washington, DC area survivor's experiences of the Holocaust. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the interview on May 26, 1993.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:20:03
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