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Oral history interview with Frank Salz

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.380.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0234

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

Frank Salz (né Josef Franz Salz), born on February 11, 1936 in Loket, Czechoslovakia, discusses his childhood in Marienbad (Mariánské Lázne, Czech Republic); his parents' haberdashery store; how in September 1938 he was ordered to Prague on 24 hour notice by the Germans; Jewish children not being permitted to go to school; being scheduled to go to England on September 8, 1939 on a children’s transport but not going because the war started; his family receiving a letter on November 17, 1942 giving them two days to report to the railroad station, where they stayed for two nights; being transported in cattle car number CC 111 with his parents and grandmother to Terezin (Theresienstadt); living in Hanover Barracks with 50 other people; his maternal grandmother, Emilie Schenk Steiner, being sent to Auschwitz; his mother, Hedwig, working in a mica factory and his father, Otto, being a police officer; going to a sub rosa school; receiving a package of food from US relatives in June 1944; his father saying “Take care of your mother” when Otto was transported to Auschwitz in September 1944; carrying boxes of grey ashes from the crematorium so he could receive a can of sardines; contracting measles and having to sleep on the barracks floor; seeing Russian soldiers on May 9, 1945; being quarantined for three weeks and then returning to Prague; his neighbors returning everything they had kept safely to his mother; being the only Jewish child in class and getting stones thrown at him; going to the railroad station every day for six weeks looking for his father; going to Sweden in 1946 and arriving in New York on July 22, 1946, having been sponsored by his uncle Carl Schenk; going to school for Jewish orphans in Pleasantville, NY; attending high school in New York; receiving two scholarships to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); going to graduate school, serving in the Army Corps of Engineering, getting married, and moving to Hartford, CT; selling his engineering firm and going to law school; moving to California; how until 10 years ago he had never spoken about his experience to his children or fellow workers; and returning in 1984 to Terezin, where he learned that he was one of only 94 children there who survived out of 15,000.

Frank Salz
Gail Schwartz
2014 October 23  (interview)
1 digital file : WAV.