Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

George Korper - March 26, 2007

Learning of Parents' Death

When did you find out that your parents had died?

Well, that is also a story and I'll tell you everything is a story with me. I was, I was, I was in pilot school and we were finishing the, the, the, the training. And, I was, I was on one of my training flights, solo on my own. I get a call on the radio: "Please return immediately you have a call from London."So, I landed and rushed to, to a hangar where they had a phone and it was a distant--again a dis...the, the, the husband of a second cousin of my father's who were in London. And, he had a job with the Red Cross. He was in Prague, one of the first people, and he found out that my parents were on the list ??? to, to, to Auschwitz and I could not believe that. So, he told me--he gave me the news. And I'll tell you quite honestly I, I was ready for it. I was mentally ready for it because by that time we already knew about the gassing. We didn't know the details, but we knew about it. Very late. I don't know if we, if we--officially it was announced before the ending of the war but, immediately after.

Had you heard of Auschwitz before this?

No, nope, nope, didn't.

Treblinka and Mauthausen?

Mauthausen always--all of these places I know be...I know now because I had various relatives who either died there or were lucky enough to come back. One of those second cousins was in Mauthausen and came back ??? and uh, but we didn't know, we didn't know about them.


We thought that, we thought that the concentrations camps were just for concentrating people in one spot to, to work in industry. Hard labor, not much to eat, but no question--nothing, nothing, not about the Poles being eliminated to a 19...what? Forty-two already, 1942 already they started shipping them out of the ghettos in Warsaw.

And you and your sis...you decided...

Treblinka I think was the best camp, near, near, near, near Warsaw.

??? Treblinka.

Yes, of course.

[interruption in interview]

Just came down to Auschwitz on ???

Yeah, that was, that was the real factory. That was the killing factory.

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