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Oral history interview with Lydia Lebovic and Willie Lebovic

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.250.9 | RG Number: RG-50.882.0009

Lydia Lebovic, born in 1928 in Czechoslovakia, describes growing up in Hungary; being one of four children; her family hearing stories of Nazi atrocities from refugees even before the German invasion of her region; the Nazis reaching her area in March 1944 and being forced into a ghetto the next month; staying in the ghetto for five weeks; being deported in a cattle car to Auschwitz-Birkenau; the selection in Birkenau upon arriving and being separated from her family; the deaths of her mother and younger sister; being in Birkenau for six weeks; being transferred to a work camp in Hamburg, Germany; the better conditions in the Hamburg camp; having food, clothing, and shelter; working hard but not being abused; being in the camp until February 1945; being transported to the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen; how the conditions were horrific but she found her older sister there; being liberated by the British on April 15, 1945; and finding her brother.

Willie Lebovic, born in Czechoslovakia in June 1922, describes being drafted into the Hungarian Army in 1942; being trained in engineering for three months; the Hungarians deciding Jews would not be allowed to wear Hungarian uniforms and being sent to do forced labor on the Russian front near the Polish border; building bunkers and anti-tank traps and planting land mines; doing this work until November 1943; escaping with 15 other men, 12 of whom were shot; reaching Russian partisans after many months; hiding his Jewish identity from the partisans for fear of antisemitism; living in underground bunkers; making his way to the Russian front; not being trusted by the Russians and being put in a prison camp; a Jewish officer in the Russian Army getting him out of the camp; working as a photographer; not being an official Russian soldier, but traveling with the troops; his job taking pictures of dead soldiers to send back to families; his unit going to Czechoslovakia in January 1945; and being discharged in May 1945.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Lydia Lebovic
Willie Lebovic
Esther Finder
15 digital files : MOV.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Esther Toporek Finder
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:55:08
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