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Oral history interview with David Dattner

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.338.63 | RG Number: RG-50.037.0063

David Dattner, born November 1908 in Zywiec, Poland, discusses growing up in a family of eight children; his father’s death during WWI; his earliest memories of antisemitism; attending public school; his employment as an engineer, then as a photographer; becoming an entrepreneur in ski and skate shoes; getting married to Ella Rubenfeld in 1936; the German invasion; fleeing to Kraków, Poland; fleeing with his family on boxcar trains (standing room only) from Krakow to Jarosław; returning to Kraków and passing as a non-Jew; fleeing east again with his brother while his wife went to Zywiec; being interrogated by a Russian soldier for two hours; escaping the Katyn massacre of Polish soldiers; moving back and forth between Soviet Poland and German Poland; being denied shelter by a Jewish family that knew David was Jewish; going back to Kraków and being there in 1942; having to wear armbands; his family going into hiding in the rural area outside Zywiec; the deportation and deaths of his mother and sister, Hilde; the end of the war; going to Cuba, then New York, NY and Buffalo, NY; the survival of all of his siblings except Hilde; doing hard manual labor at a Plymouth car factory while studying English; opening a wholesale jewelry business in March 1949; returning to Zywiec after the war; and his appreciation for living in the US.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
David Dattner
Mrs. Toby Back
interview:  1990 November 15
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2020-08-03 11:26:22
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