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Oral history interview with William Eisen

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.338.13 | RG Number: RG-50.037.0013

William (Bill) Eisen, born in 1920, describes growing up in Miechow, Poland; surviving the war after being in camps in Kracow, Płaszów, Skarzysko, Czestochowa, and Buchenwald; his father’s occupation; his four brothers and sister; experiencing persecution and antisemitism before the war; participating in scouts, Zionist organizations, and sports; going to a trade school to learn tailoring; the antisemitic parties became very strong in Poland in the 1930s; Polish neighbors collaborating with the Nazis; the ghetto being formed in 1940; the deaths of all his brothers; life in the ghetto and working on the highways; being taken to the camp Płaszów, from which he twice tried to escape but was recaptured; the liquidation of the ghetto in 1942 and his father’s fate; being taken to another camp, where he worked in a tailor shop; a typhus epidemic, during which the sick were killed, and being saved by his supervisor; food rations; being taken to Skarzysko; his work with ammunitions; becoming ill from the chemicals; avoiding execution as well as an accidental explosion; being taken to Czestochowa, where there was more food; working in a tailor shop; being taken to Buchenwald in January 1945; being given a pair of leather shoes which probably saved his life later; working in a coal mine until April 1945; marching towards Theresienstadt and the death of many on the way; being liberated by the Russians; returning to his hometown and not finding any family; and the importance of giving testimony about the Holocaust.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Mr. William Eisen
Mrs. Toby Back
interview:  1990 July
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:35:04
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