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Oral history interview with Bernard Gola

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2017.152.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0912

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    Oral history interview with Bernard Gola


    Interview Summary
    Bernard Gola (born Berel Gola, 1926-2019) was born on November 2, 1926 in Kielce, Poland. He had a younger brother, Schmul (b. 1928). He discusses his father owning a factory that manufactured cheap men’s clothes, and dying when he was three; his mother taking over running the factory; his aunt helping take care of him; living with his grandmother in the back of the store; attending public school; attending religious services with his grandfather, and belonging to two Zionist youth groups; reading about Hitler in Jewish and Polish newspapers; his uncle getting arrested by the Gestapo in 1938, and his grandfather securing his release in Warsaw; his uncle going to England where he was placed in a detention camp as an enemy alien; Kielce being bombed three days after Germany invaded Poland; working as forced-laborer for the Germans cleaning barracks and working on the railroad; selling cigarettes and other items on the black market; his mother and brother getting arrested and subsequently released by the Jewish police; hiding at his uncle’s farm when he heard the Germans were arresting young men; he and his brother getting typhus; getting deported to Treblinka; working as a forced-laborer; getting sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in June 1944, where he was tattooed with prisoner number B3073; getting sent to Auschwitz III (Monowitz) where he was a forced-laborer at the I.G. Farben plant; getting forced on a death march to a Messerschmitt factory in Berlin in December 1944, and then to Flossenbürg; he was liberated three days later by the United States Army; living in several displaced persons camps in Germany; selling cigarettes with a partner in Zeilsheim; immigrating to the United States with help from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; living with aunt and uncle in Brooklyn; working in the garment industry and then as a waiter in the Catskills; opening a retail business; and getting married in 1954.
    Bernard Gola
    Ina Navazelskis
    interview:  2017 February 20
    creation: Highland Beach (Fla.)

    Physical Details

    Oral histories.
    1 digital file : MPEG-4.

    Rights & Restrictions

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    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Gola, Bernard.

    Administrative Notes

    Ina Navazelskis, on behalf of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Branch, conducted the oral history interview with Bernard Gola on February 20, 2017 in Highland Beach, FL.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2024-01-25 11:43:51
    This page:

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