Jewish survivors of the Holocaust
Reifer, Shmuel (9 of 18) The Living Memory of the Jewish Community
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The Living Memory of the Jewish Community
Reifer, Shmuel, 1920- (speaker, male)
Gould, David (speaker, male)
Continued description of 8 July 1942 round-up of Jews; most of the rest of Jewish community deported; remainder convinced themselves the worst was over. 15 November, round up of a further 300 Jews, including Weber, the Nazi informer. More about informers in Jewish community. 20 February 1943, family escapes last mass round-up of 3,000 Jews. Discussion of the difference between labour camps in Russia and Germany. Description of German police officer Meier. Flees with brother and father to Sosnowiece again; conditions had massively deteriorated. Father bribed SS man to get all three placed on a workfarm; conditions and food better than in ghetto. 22 August 1943, farm liquidated along with all other small labour camps; family taken first to Bautrop Nord Klobutsk camp for eight days, then loaded onto trains.
Interviewee's note: Born in Chrzanow, between Krakow and Katowice in Poland. Family history; timber trade; very orthodox Jewish community. Discusses simultaneous rise of Hitler and pogroms in Poland. Hid from Nazis on invasion of Poland; 132 neighbours massacred in local sports field. Lived in Chrzanow 'ghetto' until 1943, until Nazi deportations necessitated escape with father and brother to Sosnowice; father bribed SS guard to get sent as labourers to local farm. Winter 1943, Nazis begin liquidation of small labour camps and farms; sent to IG Farben plant in Blechammer, then railway in Reichenbach, then Krupps factory in Marskadt. 1944, sent to Gorlitz camp and then Zittau; describes life in both camps. 1945, Red Army liberates camp. After liberation found surviving family and stayed in Poland until 1949 and then moved to Switzerland; met wife there, and moved with her to Stamford Hill in London, working in book trade.