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Oral history interview with Juan Lamac

Oral History | Accession Number: 2013.294.55 | RG Number: RG-50.693.0055

Juan Lamac, born in Pilsner, Czechoslovakia (Plzen, Czech Republic) around 1922, describes the Jewish community in Pilsner; being an only child; attending public school and being active in many Jewish and German organizations; having to go to work when the Germans invaded; food rations; the Austrian Jewish refugees who passed through Czechoslovakia; his family being sent to Theresienstadt; surviving the killings at Riditze (a camp for political prisoners); avoiding being sent to Auschwitz at first then being sent in 1944; the selection process; his father staying with him; being in Birkenau for four months; in May 1944 being sent to work for four months in odd jobs; being sent with his father to Blechhammer; the Allied bombings at that factory; the hanging of 40 prisoners because they had managed to find shoe laces to tie their shoes; the sleeping accommodations; he and his father being sick and taken to a hospital; the German guards disappearing as the Russians approached; escaping with two others; encountering the Russians and being taken for interrogation by a Jewish female commander who spoke to them in Yiddish, which he did not understand; returning to the Czech Republic and being interrogated by Czech commanders; wanting to fight the Germans and joining the Czech Legion; being in the army for two months; going to Prague, Czech Republic and not finding any relatives; studying at a university in Prague and getting married; working for a Bata Shoes company; going to Chile in 1949 and the death of his wife soon after their arrival; the Theresienstadt Kapo, Otto Krause, who was in the room next to his, and served for 10 years in jail after the war; and Krause also going to Chile and offering to help Juan.

Lamac, Juan
Stutman, Andrea
interview:  2010 September 21
1 digital file : MOV.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Fundación Memoria Viva
Record last modified: 2022-06-16 10:13:22
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