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Oral history interview with Henry Kress

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2000.91.34 | RG Number: RG-50.493.0034

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    Oral history interview with Henry Kress


    Interview Summary
    Henry Kress (né Heniek Krzesiwo), born on July 26, 1924 in Sosnowiec, Poland, describes his family life and childhood; his parents, sister, and close extended family; his father who worked for a large fabric company; graduating in 1939 from school and going to Krakow, Poland due to the impending war; his parents deciding to move 25 miles outside of Krakow because of the bombings; the destruction caused by the German occupation; Jews being ordered to wear the Star of David; getting up every day at 2:00 AM to stand in line until 7:00-8:00 AM to get bread for his family; the liquidation of the ghetto in August 1943 and the subsequent deportations; hiding in a bunker with his parents and several others until they were found; being placed on a train and sent to Auschwitz; his mother telling him “I am going to die, but you are young, try to survive”; arriving in Auschwitz and being separated from his parents, which was the last time he saw them; being sent to Birkenau but eventually placed in Auschwitz Block 1 and then Block 23; working to deliver coal and discovering his sister alive in Birkenau and sneaking over to see her; Henry and his friend Leo escaping from a Death March in January 1945; making it back to Poland and being given a job with the Russian Secret Service; leaving for the American zone in Germany; waiting for three years for his visa to the United States; arriving in the US in 1940 and meeting up with his sister; getting married to Mary Kress in 1951 (he had met her in Germany in 1946 and she had also survived Auschwitz); and having two children and living in Irvine, CA.
    Henry Kress
    Jacob Schreiber
    interview:  1993 February 05

    Physical Details

    3 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Kress, Henry.

    Administrative Notes

    Jacob Schreiber on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League, Orange County, California, conducted the interview with Henry Kress on February 5, 1993. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the copy of the interview from the Anti-Defamation League, Orange County, California on May 3, 2000.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:56:11
    This page:

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