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Oral history interview with David Krauthammer

Oral History | Accession Number: 2016.421.1 | RG Number: RG-50.959.0001

David Krauthammer, born in 1906 in Tlumacsyk, Austria (now Tlumach, Ukraine), describes his three sisters and three brothers; being the second oldest child; growing up in Austria; beign eight years old when WWI began; having little food and going to the Hungarian city of Debrecen; his father’s grocery store; his maternal grandfather who was very religious; his family’s background; his father’s participation in the army during WWI; attending a Baron Hirsch school for German and Polish; attending a Hebrew school; working at the age of 15 in a store in Kolomea (Kolomyia, Ukraine); working in a lumberyard; moving in 1927 to Trieste, Italy, where his cousin lived; transcribing many books so he could remember them; his wife, who he grew up with; working for his cousin, Giacamo Kleinman, for four and a half years (1927-1932); his thoughts on Mussolini’s early administration; working at his cousin’s store in Trento, Italy; getting into an argument with his cousin and leaving the store; selling Turkish carpets; experiencing antisemitism when he applied for a business license; getting married in Verona in 1932; the annexation of Austria; helping his brother-in-law (Dr. George Altenhaus) escape Vienna, Austria in 1938; [file two] being arrested in 1940 for 30 days then sent to an internment camp called Notaresco in the province of Abruzzi; being released from the camp after his wife wrote a letter to Mussolini; hearing about Kristallnacht and liquidating all his businesses; buying dollars with his lire, depositing it in a Dutch bank, and then transferring it to a cousin in Indianapolis; resuming his businesses in Trento, Bolzano, and Rovereto after being advised by the Italian Government that he would be allowed to stay in Italy under government protection; the heavy bombing of Trento in September 1943 and the subsequent German occupation; going into hiding; being told his wife was dead (she was told he was dead); his communications with his sisters; hiring Mr. McConey because he was known to help refugees escape to Switzerland for a large fee; bribing many people on his way to Switzerland; his parents’ deaths in the Kolomea ghetto; his sister Regina’s survival in Ukraine; helping his surviving family get to Milan, Italy after the war; living in Switzerland for 500 days with his wife and children; suffering from hunger; returning to Italy in 1945; receiving a brief visit from Simon Wiesenthal in 1946; immigrating to the US and living in Indianapolis for three weeks; living in New York, NY for eight and a half months; being unhappy in the US and returning to Italy after three and a half years; and returning to the US after a year in Italy.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
David Krauthammer
Stuart Reiter
interview:  1988 January 16
3 digital files : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sarah H. Reiter and Stuart Reiter
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:38:18
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