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Oral history interview with Simon J. Kalmas

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.232.0044

Simon Kalmas, born in 1915 in Drobin, Poland, discusses his childhood; learning the trade of tinsmithing as a boy; the German invasion of Poland; being taken along with the other men of his town and held in another city for five days before being returned home and told to move into the Drobin ghetto; moving later to the ghetto in Neustadt Oberschlesien (now Prudnik, Poland); having the chance to escape to Russia but choosing to stay with his family in Poland; his family remaining together until 1942 when they were deported to Auschwitz; being selected for work in the coal mines of IG Farben Industry before being selected for his tinsmithing skills to repair the roofs of bombarded barracks from 1944 until 1945; being forced to march to Gleiwitz in a snowstorm to catch a transport train to Buchenwald; being liberated in Buchenwald; immigrating to the United States in April 1949 and settling in Nashville, TN; and moving permanently to Detroit, MI in January 1950 because of the racism he saw happening against African Americans in the South.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Kalmas, Simon J.
Kirsch, Arthur
2 sound cassettes : analog.