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Oral history interview with John Steiner

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.497 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0497

John Steiner discusses his childhood in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic); his assimilated family life; his education in a German primary school; the antisemitism he experienced in school; his family's attempts to get him out of the country; the changes he experienced after the German occupation began in 1938; being deported to Terezin (Theresienstadt) in August 1942; the work he performed; the people he met in the camp; being deported to Auschwitz in the spring of 1943; the cruelty and kindness of the guards; the conditions in the camp; his illness; being transferred with his father to Blechhammer in early 1944; the conditions in Blechhammer; the work he performed; the brutality of the guards; his experiences on a death march to Dachau beginning in January 1945; the long walk, the cattle cars, and his arrival at Dachau; being liberated by the US Army in April 1945; his work as an interpreter for the Americans; his return to Prague in July 1945; his life after liberation; the emotional impact of his experiences that he felt while living in Prague; his decision to immigrate to Australia; his subsequent journey to the United States; his education; his dissertation research in Germany that led to a series of interviews with German SS perpetrators; his work as a lecturer and university professor; his interviews with the perpetrators, including the things he learned and his emotions surrounding the research; his thoughts on the human capacity for good and evil; morality during difficult times; responses to authoritarianism; and his nuanced view of perpetrators as individuals.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
John Steiner
interview:  1991 March 27
interview:  1991 June 06
interview:  1991 August 22
interview:  1991 November 19
interview:  1993 December 02
interview:  1993 December 17
interview:  1994 February 04
interview:  1994 April 01
interview:  1994 July 11
interview:  1994 July 25
2 videocassettes (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
Record last modified: 2020-09-01 09:30:13
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