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Oral history interview with Leon Rytz

Oral History | Accession Number: 2017.553.7 | RG Number: RG-50.998.0007

Leon Rytz, born in 1927 in Warsaw, Poland, describes his mother and aunt who imported tea and sold it to local businesses; living in the Warsaw ghetto with his family during the war; being taken by the Nazis one day in 1942 and never seeing his family again; being taken to "Umschlagplatz" and then Majdanek; building barracks for a few months; being transported to Treblinka and escaping during the journey; joining a partisan group in the forest; participating in several raids; escaping the partisans because they began killing the Jewish members; going to Warsaw in 1943 and seeing the city in flames; being captured by the Nazis and sent to the labor camp Skarzysko-Kamienna, where he produced war materials; being sentenced to execution after a failed escape attempt and being saved by a lady unknown to him who said that she had a diamond in her shoes that they would have if they let her brother live; the evacuation of the camp to Czestochowa; being sent to Buchenwald then Dora-Nordhausen, where he remained until February or March 1945; the evacuation of the camp and being sent to Bergen-Belsen; escaping from Bergen-Belsen with Russian prisoners; being picked up by American troops and taken to a camp in Farsleben, Germany; being relocated to a settlement between Hamburg and Lübeck; meeting a Swedish nurse who smuggled him on a boat to Sweden; being quarantined in Helsingborg for three weeks; living on a kibbutz with other young Jewish refugees; going to Borås, Sweden, where he lived for most of his life after the war; studying at the textile institute; getting a job at the Oscar Jacobson factory; starting his own company, producing children's clothing; how the majority of Jewish survivors living in Borås worked in the textile industry following the war; the importance of meeting with other survivors of the Holocaust; the effects of the war on the maturity levels of the youths who survived it; meeting his wife, Edit, when he was 20 years old; the life they built together; the psychological remainders of the war; the importance of tending to democracy and maintaining Jewish traditions; and contributing to the building of a synagogue in Borås.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Rytz, Leon
Östberg, Carolyn
interview:  2017 April 26
creation: Stockholm (Sweden)
1 digital file : MP4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2022-06-16 10:18:53
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