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Oral history interview with Alfred Haber

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.338.29 | RG Number: RG-50.037.0029

Alfred Haber, born in 1924 in Auschwitz (Oświęcim), Poland, describes his father, who served in the Austrian Army in World War I and was a grain dealer; his mother, who was a school teacher until she got married; his three sisters and one brother; their nice home and admiring German culture; attending public school and a Hebrew academy; living on the outskirts of the town near the barracks that later became part of the concentration camp; the German invasion in 1939; the destruction of the synagogue and the confiscation of their business; trying to go to Palestine with a group of Jews but being stopped by the German police; the evacuation of all the Jews to a ghetto in Sosnowiec, Poland; working in an oil depot; the roundup of Jews in 1942 and going through a tribunal; the selection process and being separated from his family (he shows photographs of two sisters); being taken to another camp near Gross Rosen, where he worked on highway construction; being taken to the camp at Bunzlau, where he was a laborer; the lack of food and stealing food to survive; the winter of 1943; the SS taking over the administration in early 1944 and the improvement to conditions; the selection of a group of skilled persons (tailors, shoemakers, etc); being hit in the head and his wound not healing; working in the laundry; the Russians approaching in February 1945 and being taken village to village; narrowly escaping being killed several times; going to camp Dora Nordhausen; many people dying from starvation; carrying dead bodies to the ovens; being a helper in the Bergen-Belsen kitchen when the US Army approached; almost being killed by the SS and Hungarian guards; being liberated by the British; hitchhiking home but being afraid of the people there; his sister surviving another camp; the five requirements for survival (luck, youth, experience with hardship, willingness to steal food, and having a useful skill); his reasons for giving his testimony; and the importance of being on guard against hatred.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Alfred Haber
Mrs. Toby Back
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:35:07
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