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Oral history interview with Joachim Kramberg

Oral History | Accession Number: 2018.3.1 | RG Number: RG-50.053.0001

Joachim Kramberg, born January 27, 1914 in Tarnopol, discusses the time period after WWI when Tarnopol became part of Poland; his parents Laura and David Kramberg who owned a soap factory; his family life with six siblings; Russian control of Tarnopol at the start of WWII; the German occupation of Tarnopol; his mechanical ability and time as a slave laborer in Rokita lager; working in a garage to repair trucks on their way to Stalingrad; how in 1943, the Wehrmacht colonel in charge of the garage helped him escape by providing him with a German uniform and transportation to Warsaw where he had childhood connections to the Polish Resistance; obtaining false identity papers to pose as a Polish Catholic; meeting Irene, a non-Jewish Polish woman during one of his missions to a telephone/radio company; marring Irene and living as a Catholic Pole during the remainder of the war; revealing his true life story to Irene who decides to stay with him; becoming a black market merchant at the end of the war and moving to Berlin in 1946; the birth of his son Andre; owning a chocolate company called Hollandia which was a legitimate business front for his black market activities; how he was nearly kidnapped by Russian NKVD agents; agreeing to leave Berlin at his Irene’s insistence; immigrating to the United States in 1951 and buying a chicken farm in Connecticut; the birth of his second son Robert; moving to Brooklyn, NY in 1962 and becoming an electrical contractor; his immediate family members, including his oldest brother Jacob who immigrated to Argentina before the war to avoid being drafted into the Polish Army; his brother Samuel who survived the war in Krakow under a false identity; his sister Helen and brother Louis who immigrated to Palestine in 1939; his younger sister Zanita and mother Laura who were sent to Belzec; his father David who was killed in Tarnopol; and his sister Lota who was killed in the town of Zbarazh, near Tarnopol.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Joachim Kramberg
Date
interview:  2008 November 02
Language
English
Extent
1 DVD.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Robert D. Kramberg
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Record last modified: 2018-02-09 07:44:22
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn594275