Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Henry Dorfman - August 11 & 25, 1989


Born in Glowaczow, Poland in 1922, Henry Dorfman was one of four children in a large Orthodox family. Following the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, the Dorfman family continued to live in Glowaczow under an increasing amount of persecution from the Nazi occupation forces. The family was relocated to a large ghetto in Kozienice in 1941. While in the ghetto, Henry and his father were separated from his mother and three siblings and used as laborers on the estate of a Volksdeutsche (native German) aristocrat. Sometime in the fall of 1942, the entire Dorfman family was rounded-up and put on a transport to the Treblinka death camp. Once again, separated from his mother and siblings, Henry and his father escaped from the train. His mother and siblings died en route to, or immediately upon arrival at Treblinka. Following their escape, Henry and his father hid in a barn and were given assistance by one of the workers employed by the Volksdeutsche aristocrat. Later they served in a partisan unit until the area was liberated by the Soviet Army in 1944. Henry remained in Europe for several years following the end of the war, helping his father establish two businesses in Łódź, Poland and establishing his own in Germany. He later moved to the United States with his wife, Mala, whom he met in Poland after the war.

Link to Portraits of Honor Project

  1. Introduction
  2. Religious Life
  3. Education
  4. Relations with non-Jews
  5. News of Hitler
  6. Outbreak of War
  7. German Occupation
  8. German Atrocities
  9. Relocated to Ghetto
  10. Labor in Ghetto
  11. Transport to Treblinka
  12. Escape from Train
  13. Hiding
  14. Polish Police
  15. Help from Poles
  16. Knowledge of Holocaust
  17. The Russian Advance
  18. Trip to Poland, 1948
  19. Visiting Former Home
  20. Wife's Experiences
  21. Wife's Hometown
  22. Pictures of Hiding Place
  23. Partisans
  24. The Armia Krajowa
  25. Religious Beliefs
  26. Liberation
  27. Conditions under Soviets
  28. Drafted into Russian Army
  29. Execution of Germans
  30. Desertion from Red Army
  31. Germany
  32. Immigration to United States
  33. Topeka, Kansas
  34. Talking About Experiences
  35. Visiting Father in Poland
  36. Relocation to Detroit
  37. Jewish Community in Detroit
  38. Memories of Holocaust
  39. Reflections of Holocaust

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