Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Ferber - September 11 & 25, 2001


Fred Ferber was born in 1930 in Swietchlowice, Poland in 1930. In 1933, the Ferber family re-located to Chorzow, Poland and then on to Kraków, Poland ca. 1936. Following the German invasion, the Ferbers were forced into the Kraków Ghetto located in Podgorze. In 1943, the family was rounded-up and sent to the Płaszów forced labor camp on the outskirts of Kraków. While in Płaszów, Fred's father was murdered by the camp's Kommandant, Amon Goethe. Fred worked in the metal and fabric shops in the camp while his mother worked in a labor detail. Fred's brother was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he died. Fred was separated from his mother when he was transferred with a number of other prisoners to the Mauthausen forced labor camp in Austria. From there, he was transferred to Gusen II and then to Gunskirchen (both sub-camps of Mauthausen). He was liberated by the American Army in May 1945. Following liberation and a short stay in a Displaced Persons Camp where he recuperated from typhus and dysentery, he returned to Poland to find his family. He was reunited with his mother in Sopot, Poland. After finding his mother and learning the fate of his brother, he moved around Europe until the late 1940s, when he immigrated to America. While in America, Fred stayed in an orphanage in San Francisco while attending school and college.

Link to Portraits of Honor Project

  1. Introduction
  2. Family
  3. Religious Life
  4. Krakow
  5. Life Under Germans
  6. The Judenrat
  7. The Krakow Ghetto
  8. Reaction to Schindler's List
  9. Liquidation of Ghetto
  10. Survivor Groups
  11. Talking About Experience
  12. Płaszów
  13. Death of Father
  14. Labor in Płaszów
  15. Appell in Płaszów
  16. Selections in Płaszów
  17. Conditions in Płaszów
  18. Transport to Mauthausen
  19. Mauthausen
  20. Conditions in Mauthausen
  21. Gusen II
  22. Death of Prisoners
  23. Conflicts with Other Prisoners
  24. Death of Uncle
  25. Labor in Gusen II
  26. Conditions in Gusen II
  27. End of War
  28. Gunskirchen
  29. Conditions in Gunskirchen
  30. Liberation
  31. American Army
  32. Typhus
  33. Searching for Mother
  34. Anti-Semitism
  35. Relations with non-Jews
  36. Religion
  37. Interview Continued - September 25, 2001
  38. Returning to Poland
  39. Believing
  40. Tirschenreuth
  41. Life in Germany
  42. Immigration to America
  43. Orphanage in San Francisco
  44. College
  45. Life in America
  46. Polish Catholics
  47. Thoughts on Poles
  48. Wife's Background
  49. Conditions in Mauthausen II
  50. Education in America
  51. Detroit
  52. Reunited with Mother
  53. Friends
  54. Reactions to Holocaust
  55. Graduation
  56. Ambition
  57. Post-War Religious Life
  58. Meeting Wife
  59. Lessons of the Holocaust
  60. Telling Children

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