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Oral history interview with Luis Stillmann

Oral History | Accession Number: 2017.284.3 | RG Number: RG-50.986.0003

Luis (Erwin) Stillmann, born on December 31, 1921 in Budapest, Hungary, discusses growing up in Mád, Hungary, where his family had resided for 300 years; his father’s work in the wine business representing a company in Europe; his family’s Jewish religious life as well as the daily co-existence between Jews and Christians; his father losing his job; moving with his parents to Kiskunfélegyháza where they found an orthodox Jewish community that assisted other Jews in need; facing pervasive antisemitism and anti-Jewish laws in Hungary when he tried to enter university; receiving help from a university dean, Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi, and attending the university in Szeged; avoiding military conscription because he was a student; moving home when the Germans entered Budapest; living in the ghetto for several weeks before being sent to a Jewish battalion; returning to Budapest after spending some time in a military hospital; being sent to the Hungarian-Austrian border to dig trenches for the German army; being sent to Mauthausen and Günskirchen; getting a Portuguese passport with the help of his aunt in Budapest and how it saved his life; being very weak when the war ended and feeling free but also indifferent; staying in Wels, Austria, where he received food and medical assistance from the American army and worked as translator; returning to Budapest and Kiskunfélegyháza looking for his family members and finding out that his parents had perished; deciding to leave Hungary because he did not want to live under Communism; working as an interpreter at the DP camp in Ebensee and with UNRRA in Ansbach, Germany; moving to Paris, France and receiving help from HIAS while waiting for a visa to the United States; going to Mexico in 1947 on a tourist visa and having a difficult time changing his status to immigrant; identifying with the Hungarian-German community in the town where he met his wife, also a Holocaust survivor; and visiting Mád in 1990 and a few years later with his daughters and grandchildren.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Luis Stillmann
Dr. Yael Siman
interview:  2017 May 12
creation: Mexico City (Mexico)
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Yael Siman on behalf of Nenemi Paxia - Sinergias Educativas A.C.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:38:26
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