Oral history interview with Lee Potasinski
Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
- Lee Potasinski
1987 May 27
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2020-01-23 11:10:20
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn512469
Also in Queensborough Community College oral history collection
Oral history interviews conducted by the Queensborough Community College Holocaust Resource Center and Archives
Jacob Barosin, born in Riga, Latvia, describes growing up in Berlin, Germany; moving to Paris, France in 1933 with his wife; working illegally; the German invasion; being arrested with his wife as suspected German spies by the French government; being sent to Sportrinas and separated from his wife; being sent to a French labor camp; antisemitic laws un the Germans; his wife being sent to Nice, France; leaving the forced labor and going to Southern France, where he reunited with his wife; staying in Florac, France; being arrested in February 1943 and sent to Gurs; the fear and tension during the wait in the camp; conditions in the camp and staying there for seven weeks; being transferred to a labor camp in Geak; his work planting onions; getting furlough and escaping to Florac, where he joined his wife in hiding; their hiding place in the attic of a Christian school teacher; being helped by the entire village and receiving false identity papers; and the paintings he did of his Holocaust experiences.
Herman Haller describes growing up in Berlin, Germany; his Polish parents and their furniture store; his two brothers and three sisters; living a comfortable middle-class life until 1933; anti-Jewish boycotts; his parents divorcing and his father moving to Palestine; not being allowed to attend public school and going to a Jewish school; Kristallnacht in 1938 and the destruction of the synagogue; going with his brothers to Antwerp, Belgium in December 1938 then Paris, France in January 1939 and returning to Antwerp; being helped by a Jewish organization and staying with Jewish families; the Nazi invasion of Belgium; his aunt and mother going to London, England; the deportations from Belgium; ration cards and finding a job in a bakery; being taken on a passenger train to Somme, France; being forced to help build a wall along the coast; contracting typhoid; being marched to the train station and sent to Brussels, Belgium then Malines; the journey to Auschwitz and arriving in the camp; the Kapos; taking classes on bricklaying and building a factory; working in the factory, making tools; passing messages between men and women in the camp; befriending Claire Haymond, with whom he is still friends; an underground plan to blow up the crematoria; the punishment of those who participated in the sabotage; being evacuated on January 18, 1945 and sent on a death march to Reichenau (possibly Rychnov nad Kněžnou, Czech Republic); being loaded onto cattle cars and sent to Gross-Rosen; conditions in Gross-Rosen, digging trenches for the dead; being marched to Hirschberg (Jelenia Góra, Poland), where they stay in the camp for a few days; being taken by train to Buchenwald in March 1945; receiving help from the political prisoners; being liberated on April 11, 1945; the Americans evacuating the sick people to Weimar, Germany, where they were put in a school that had been converted into a hospital; being sent to Belgium in May 1945; finding his brother and mother; and going to the United States in 1947 while his brother went to Palestine and his mother remained in London.
Alfred Lipson describes growing up in Radom, Poland; graduating in 1939; experiencing antisemitism; the beginning of the war; fleeing to the Vistula River then his grandparents’ town near Warsaw, Poland; going to a camp and being separated from his father; Yom Kippur in 1939; being allowed to leave the camp and reuniting with his father in Radom; being ordered into a ghetto in 1941; being deported in August 1942 and working in a munitions factory outside Radom; working as a bookkeeper; he and his family hiding during the 1942 deportations; being physically attacked by his boss; going back to work at the munitions factory; teaching his two sisters Latin and algebra and inviting others to the illegal classes; his job working as a treasurer and working with William Bloom, who was tried and hanged after the war; working as a bookkeeper for an SS officer, who saved his family from being deported; getting married in 1943; his wife becoming a secretary in his office; being sent to another camp in January 1944; being marched down the main street of Radom; and never seeing Radom again.