Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irving Altus - June 2, 1982


An audio interview with Irving Altus, a Holocaust survivor, conducted by Bernie Kent. Mr. Altus was born in 1920, in Czekanów, Poland. Mr. Altus was the middle child in a family consisting of five children, his mother and father, all of whom perished in the Holocaust. Following the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the Germans arrested Mr. Altus and shipped him to various labor camps throughout Europe, including one in Königsberg, Germany. In 1942, Mr. Altus was shipped to Auschwitz-Birkenau and assigned to an external Labor Kommando approximately 50 miles from the main camp. In 1945, Mr. Altus was forced to march westward towards Germany, eventually coming to Theresienstadt, where he was liberated by the Soviets after one day. After the war, Mr. Altus returned briefly to his hometown and then relocated to Munich, Germany. In 1949, he emigrated to America with his wife and son.

  1. Introduction
  2. Pre-War Life
  3. Family
  4. Pre-War Anti-Semitism
  5. Pre-War Plans
  6. Czekanów
  7. Outbreak of War
  8. Jewish Refugees
  9. Lack of Leadership
  10. Thoughts of Leaving
  11. Conditions Under Germans
  12. Conditions Under Germans (Continued)
  13. Arrested by Germans
  14. Forced Labor
  15. Forced Labor (Continued)
  16. Transport to Auschwitz
  17. Conditions in Auschwitz
  18. Labor Kommando of Auschwitz
  19. Different Conditions
  20. Cement Factory
  21. The SS
  22. Mortality in Factory
  23. 1945
  24. March from Auschwitz
  25. Theresienstadt
  26. Liberation
  27. Disposition of Family
  28. Germany
  29. Immigration to America
  30. Relatives in Detroit
  31. Relatives in Detroit (Continued)
  32. Talking About Experiences
  33. Reflections on Experiences

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