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Oral history interview with Bernard Lewkowicz

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.338.70 | RG Number: RG-50.037.0070

Bernard Lewkowicz, born in 1921 in Germany, discusses his early childhood; his parents who were Orthodox and from Poland originally; baking matzos in his father’s bakery; attending a Hebrew school until antisemitism prompted their move back to Poland in 1937; receiving a weekly New York newspaper in Poland; the continuation of his education at home; the German invasion in 1939; the burning of the synagogues; the looting of Jewish homes by the Poles; the deportation of men to work in Germany; his work stringing wire to concentration camps, including Gross-Rosen; being paid to build their own camp before becoming inmates; building the Autobahn; conditions in the camp; volunteering for extra work to get extra food; being sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp; being forced to pile corpses; the cremation of the bodies; losing a significant amount of bodyweight; suicidal prisoners; being sent by box car in the winter of 1944 to Gross-Rosen concentration camp; being taken to the Russian Front (near Stalingrad); surviving because a Russian soldier taught him to rub his bare feet with snow and stuffing empty cement bags in his boots to keep warm; marching into Mauthausen; doing forced labor as mechanic; being transferred to a camp in Breslau and doing forced labor on small locomotives; saving a child from going to Auschwitz by telling the guard he needed a child to crawl into the trains (the boy eventually became a railroad engineer in Israel); and his thoughts on Holocaust denial.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Bernard Lewkowicz
Interviewer
Mrs. Toby Back
Date
interview:  1992 June 15
Language
English
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
 
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:35:14
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn511832