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Oral history interview with Irena Bach

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.439.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0859

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Irena Bach, born on July 10, 1925 in Lvov, Poland (now L’viv, Ukraine), discusses her family; her younger sister Genena; her father’s business; her family speaking Polish to each other; attending Gymnasium, where she studied German; taking private piano and gymnastic lessons; her family providing help to the refugees who came from Germany to Lvov; her father losing his business to the Russians when they took over in 1939; having to speak Russian in school and no longer studying religion; the deportation of the refugees to Siberia; the arrival of the Germans on June 21, 1941; the deportation of her father to the Limburg concentration camp, where he died from typhus; the relocation of her family to the ghetto; obtaining false papers and taking a train to Krakow, Poland, where she stayed with a Polish woman until she learned the Germans were picking up people on the street; volunteering to work in Germany; obtaining a position as a kitchen maid in May 1943 in Berchtesgaden, where she remained until the end of the war; her family surviving the war by renting a room with a Polish woman and remaining hidden; returning to live with her family in Krakow after the war; immigration of her sister and brother-in-law to Argentina; going with her mother to Austria with the intention of going to Palestine; meeting her future husband (see interview RG-50.030.0858) in Salzburg, Austria; getting married and having a daughter; living in a displaced persons camp and then renting a home outside the camp; remaining in Salzburg for five years until they immigrated to the United States in 1951; receiving assistance from Jewish organizations as they settled in Boston, MA; her husband’s work in a shipping department for ten years; having a second daughter; and her work as a salesperson at Filenes for 40 years. (After the interview, Irena shows documents and old photos.)

Interviewee
Ms. Irena Bach
Interviewer
Ina Navazelskis
Date
2015 December 12  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.