Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Opatowski - November 2, 1981


An interview with Herman Opatowski, a Holocaust survivor, conducted by Paul Canchester. Herman Opatowski was born in Kielce, Poland. After German invasion of Poland in 1939, Herman, along with his mother, father and eight siblings, were placed in a make-shift ghetto in Kielce. While in the ghetto, Herman was used as a forced laborer by the German authorities. At some point, his family was sent "East," most likely to the Treblinka death camp. After being separated from his family, Herman was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he remained until the camp was liquidated in early 1945. He was then sent on a forced march westwards, but managed to escape from the column. Heading eastward, he eventually met the Soviet Army.

Link to Portraits of Honor Project

  1. Introduction
  2. Family
  3. Pre-War Anti-Semitism
  4. Outbreak of War
  5. Deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau
  6. Fate of Family
  7. Conditions in Auschwitz-Birkenau
  8. Illnesses
  9. Effects of Holocaust
  10. Pulver Fabrik
  11. Resistance in Auschwitz
  12. Religion in Auschwitz
  13. Death March
  14. Escape from Germans
  15. Liberation

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