Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Jack Heisler

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.338.65 | RG Number: RG-50.037.0065

Jack Heisler, born in 1924 in Bilky, Czechoslovakia (now in Ukraine), discusses being one of nine children; the emigration of three of his siblings before war (they went to Buffalo, NY); the deaths of his siblings Bernard and Maria shortly after liberation; his brothers David and Edward surviving the war; the deaths of his parents; life in Bilky; the Hungarian takeover; Jewish men and boys being forced to do labor; the detainment of a 100 families in the synagogue; the release of his family; the town’s disbelief at the rumors of mass-execution; the deportation of his family from Bilky in the Spring of 1944; being in Beregszász (Berehove, Ukraine) for three weeks; being sent to Auschwitz; the selection process and being separated from his family members; being tattooed with the numbers 10122; seeing corpses stacked; the smell of the crematorium; the roll calls; working on a farm camp outside Birkenau run by Russian POWs; doing forced labor, picking cotton and feeding horses; the treatment from the guards; the German women who sometimes dropped off baskets of food; some Jews hanging themselves; experiencing frostbite and losing the tips of fingers and toes; staying in the hospital at the camp while the other prisoners were marched out; being liberated by Russian soldiers; getting sick when he over ate; finding his brother; walking to Krakow, Poland; being taken in by a Jewish family; walking towards Czechoslovakia; returning to Bilky; and immigrating to the US.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Jack Heisler
Mrs. Toby Back
interview:  1991 July 08
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:35:13
This page: