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Oral history interview with Andre Waksman

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.431.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0849

André Waksman, born on June 12, 1943 in Elne, France, describes how his mother was taken from the internment camp in Gurs to deliver her baby; his father Jakob Waksman (born in Kalisz, Poland in 1910) and his mother Suzanne Doctorcyck (born in Pabianice, Poland in 1911); his brother; how his parents lived in Antwerp, Belgium and lost their business when the Germans occupied Belgium; his parents’ attempt to escape to Switzerland, arrest, and detainment in camp Rivesaltes; how a non-Jewish social worker took care of his brother in Pertuis, France and he never entered the camp; how his father was allowed to work outside the camp and was able to supplement Suzanne’s meager diet; how Elisabeth Eidenbenz, who ran the maternity clinic in Elne, made sure that Suzanne never returned to Gurs after her baby was born; his family’s journey over the Alps through Saint-Martin-de-Vésubie several weeks after André was born and made their way to Italy; his father’s identity papers; his family receiving help from Ruth Gruber to go to the United States; sailing on the Henry Gibbons to the US; being sent directly to Fort Ontario, in Oswego, NY; being given entry visas to the United States in 1946; receiving US citizenship in 1951; moving to Hoboken, NJ because his father had an uncle who said he would help him get started; being sent with his brother to a Yeshiva in Brooklyn, NY; attending the University of Chicago and dropping out; attending film school; being an artist and filmmaker in Paris, France; and feeling lucky that his immediate family survived the war.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Mr. André Waksman
Peggy Frankston
interview:  2015 October 23
2 digital files : WAV.