Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Klaiman - May 4, 1982


Joseph Klaiman was born May 20, 1925 in Łódź, Poland. A month after the Germans invaded Poland, Joseph and his father escaped to Russia but returned to Łódź to bring his mother and two brothers back with them. Before they could escape, they were moved into the Łódź ghetto where both his parents died. In the ghetto, Joseph worked in a factory. In 1941, the Gestapo took away his two brothers and Joseph was transported to Auschwitz. From Auschwitz he was sent to several camps including Gleiwitz I, Buchenwald, Holzen and Blechammer. Just before the war ended, Joseph escaped from a train transport and hid alone in the forest for eight days he was liberated by British soldiers. Joseph stayed in the Buchenwald DP camp where he met his future wife and moved to Detroit in 1949.

  1. Introduction
  2. The Start of the War
  3. Conditions in the Łódź ghetto
  4. Being Transported to Auschwitz
  5. A Day in the Ghetto
  6. Politics and Religion at Home
  7. Jewish Police
  8. A Day in the Ghetto II
  9. Experiences during Holocaust
  10. Running Away
  11. Life After Liberation
  12. Meeting Wife and Starting Family
  13. Life in Detroit
  14. Surviving in the Forest
  15. Physical and Mental Health
  16. Sharing Experiences
  17. Missing Family
  18. Underground Activity
  19. Reasons for Survival
  20. Views on Religion
  21. Attitude Towards Poles
  22. Attitudes Toward Poles II
  23. Religion Before the War
  24. Holidays in Concentrations Camps
  25. Remembering the Other Jews in Camp
  26. Conditions in the Camps
  27. Conditions on Death March
  28. Childhood Memories
  29. Returning to Poland
  30. Israel
  31. Conclusion

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