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Oral history interview with Nathan Kornmehl

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.338.38 | RG Number: RG-50.037.0038

Nathan Kornmehl, born 1923 in Cologne, Germany, describes his father being a Hebrew teacher and also selling linens and other household goods and his death in 1930; living with his mother and four sisters; his Polish parents planning to go to the United States and therefore never becoming German citizens; attending a public school and a Jewish school until 1937 when that was no longer possible; being sent with his mother and a sister to the Polish borders as non-citizens in 1938; getting an engineer of a coal train into taking him to Posen, Germany (Poznan, Poland); finding support from the Jewish community; being given a ticket to Kraków, Poland, where he had some relatives; getting a job and working until the beginning of the war in 1939; going into hiding and going alone to Riga, Latvia, mostly by walking; going to Ukraine and having all his spare clothes stolen on the way; arriving in L'viv, Ukraine, where he worked for a few months; being offered a passport to Russia but not taking it because he planned to return to Germany after the war; being sent to Siberia; wearing special winter clothing when the temperature dropped; not encountering antisemitism and everybody receiving the same food rations; having no contact with his family and not knowing what went on during the war; taking care of a horse and having to deliver water and wood to various people; being taught to bake bread by a Russian general; cooking for the prisoners in 1944; being shipped to Wroclaw, Poland, and smuggled by truck to Berlin, Germany; his mother and sister dying in Auschwitz; working in a post office in Berlin for almost two years; meeting his future wife; being a judge for a displaced persons camp for six months; immigrating to the United States where he had an uncle in Buffalo, NY and having two sister come to New York; his feelings about faith; and his belief that a person should not depend on others and people should be good to each other.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Nathan Kornmehl
Mrs. Toby Back
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:35:08
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