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Oral history interview with Arthur Gifford-England

Oral History | Accession Number: 2012.449.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0710

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Arthur Gifford-England, born August 1, 1919 in Kingston St. Mary, England, discusses joining the 106th Army Troops Company, Royal Engineers; being stationed in Egypt in early 1942 and working to maintain the water supply for troops there; going to Tobruk, Libya and being captured by German forces; being taken to Benghazi, Libya where he was fired on by the Sansui there; being taken to Italy and then to Germany via Lambinowice, Poland, and arriving at Auschwitz near the end of 1942; his forced labor at the I.G. Farben factory; witnessing the abuse and killing of Jews in Auschwitz; hearing about the shooting of Corporal Reynolds by an SS officer; rumors that a spy had been placed in the camp by the Germans; being tied up with other British prisoners by the Germans in retaliation for Allied attacks, but being untied by a fellow prisoner and then taunting the Germans; participating in sabotage by mixing up shipments so that the wrong supplies would be delivered to German troops; being afraid to interact with Jewish prisoners as Jews caught talking to the POWs would be killed; injuring his hand in an accident at the factory and spending time in the hospital; creating a garden at the camp while recovering from his accident; surviving the bombing of Auschwitz; seeing the body of a friend in the wreckage of a bomb shelter; participating in stage plays put on by prisoners in the presence of a German censor; being marched out of Auschwitz in the spring of 1945 and contracting pneumonia; being treated by a dentist and staying in a large house with five other ill prisoners before rejoining the march at Pilsen, Czech Republic; being liberated by American troops and arriving back in Britain in May 1945; experiencing residual fear upon his return home; personal feelings about his experience and what he had witnessed; his feeling that the fear of retaliation made the British POWs distance themselves from the Jewish prisoners and their suffering; testifying at the Nuremberg Trials; his anger towards Holocaust deniers; and his decision to talk about his experiences in the years following the war.

Interviewee
Arthur Gifford-England
Interviewer
Duncan Little
Date
2012 July 10  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital files : MPEG-4.
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:22:49
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn62053