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Oral history interview with Leo Silberman

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.37.23 | RG Number: RG-50.765.0023

Leo Silberman, born in Poland in 1925, describes his family; how his father was a salesman; how he was 14 years old when the Nazis invaded; being forced to do physical labor for two years; secretly buying potatoes and bread from local farmers; being sent with his brother in 1941 to Płaszów, where they were forced to use Jewish tombstones to pave the camp streets; being transferred in 1943 to an ammunition factory in Skarzysko, Poland; how the skin of the prisoners had turned green because of exposure to the gun powder; volunteering to be a mechanic; being taken to Buchenwald; being marched to Weimar, Germany, where they cleared rubble; experiencing an air raid and stealing a pot roast when all the guards fled to bomb shelters; being marched with a group of men who were to be shot, falling behind, getting caught by a guard and punched, and being left behind; how he ran back to the barracks and blended in with the non-Jewish prisoners; being transported to Theresienstadt the next day; being liberated on May 10, 1945; deciding not to register with the Russian authorities because he did not want to return to Poland; joining a group being smuggled into Palestine by the Jewish Brigade; being caught by American soldiers and taken to a displaced persons camp in Germany where he met his future wife and attended a trade school; moving to Council Bluffs, IA in 1949; and settling in Cleveland, Ohio in 1951.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Leo Silberman
interview:  2007 March 22
1 DVD : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Congregation Shaarey Tikvah, Beachwood, Ohio
Record last modified: 2020-07-27 15:22:21
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