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Oral history interview with Shalom Schreiber

Oral History | Accession Number: 1994.A.0051.10 | RG Number: RG-50.308.0010

Shalom Schreiber describes the Jewish character in Poland before the war; the restrictions placed on Jews; the Zionist movements that formed in the 1930s; the leaders in the Jewish communities; the German takeover of Poland and the gradual restrictions placed on Jews; Jews having to wear Star of David badges; the curfews; how life continued to be manageable; being ordered to leave their homes and move to the ghetto in Krakow; being 21 years old when he was ordered to the ghetto with his mother and three siblings; going to live with his sister and her husband in the nearby town of Niepolomice; moving from town to town about eight times; returning to Krakow to try and make some money; moving with his family to Bochnia and living in a basement bunker that was built by someone they knew; hiding in the bunker while the Jews of Bochnia were murdered and deported during an action; joining the fighting groups of the underground with his family; moving into a small house with two rooms and a kitchen along with around 20 other people; receiving an order to search for hiding places in the woods of Vishnitz and build bunkers; Simek’s (Shimshon Draenger) attempts to save the writers, Israel Schreibtafel and Heshek Gutman, so that they could write about the war; meeting with Dolek (Adolf Liebeskind); passing as a Gestapo leather salesman; the Krakow underground forging him a German Kennkarte with the name Yam Timiac; building a bunker in Bochnia; singing songs and socializing with the others in hiding; how the Jewish underground needed money and they decided to rob a rich Jewish man from the Bochnia ghetto; the SS catching the thieves (Yulek, Poldek and Natek) and arresting everyone in the bunker; the interrogation and beating of many of the prisoners; being sent to Montelupich Prison; being in the same cell with his younger brother (Shimon), Simek (Draenger), Romek Lustgarten, and a few other men from Akiba for one month (March-April 1943); the mistreatment they received from the prison guards; life in the prison; Simek (Draenger) having conversations with everyone in the cell about their situation and about Zionism; his belief that his conversations with his brother saved him from despair; being taken on April 13 to Auschwitz; being taken to Buna (Monowitz); the hard life in the camp; sanitation in the camp; and the disappearance of Israel Schreibtafel, Hersh Gutman (Heshek Gutman?) and Avraham Reich.
The interviewee (who is now possibly Poldek and not Shalom) shares a photo of Genia Meltzer, and describes her arrest in March 1943 and imprisonment in Montelupich. He also describes the book based in the experiences of Gusta Dranger (Justyna).

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Shalom Schreiber
Dr. Eli Pfefferkorn
interview:  1987 October 25
5 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:51:40
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