Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Berek Rothenberg - May 20, 1984


An interview with Berek Rothenberg, a Holocaust survivor, conducted by Levi Smith. Berek Rothenberg was born on Jan. 3, 1921 in Sandomierz, Poland. As a boy, he belonged to several Zionist organizations including the Betar, Macabbi, and Akiva. Following the German invasion of Poland, he was taken by the Germans for forced labor on the railroads, and when released, was sent out by the Judenrat to work on a road crew. In 1942, Berek was taken away to work at the ammunition factory in Skarzysko. In 1944 he was transferred to Buchenwald and assigned to work at Schlieben, a sub camp, where the Panzerfaust was being manufactured. Berek was then transferred to Theresienstadt, where he was liberated on May 8, 1945. After liberation, he traveled around Italy waiting for a chance to move to Palestine but in 1949, Berek moved to the United States to be with his extended family.

  1. Introduction
  2. Education
  3. Jewish Organizations
  4. Family Life
  5. Zionism and Anti-Semitism
  6. War Between Poland and Czechoslovakia
  7. Relations with Gentiles
  8. Family
  9. Religious Life
  10. Religious Life II
  11. Daily Life
  12. Life Before the War
  13. Jewish Organizations II
  14. Brother Joins Army
  15. German Invasion of Poland
  16. Being Taken for Work Details
  17. Life Under German Occupation
  18. Getting a Job from the Judenrat
  19. Jewish Employment Agency
  20. Getting in Trouble
  21. Getting in Trouble II
  22. Religion During German Occupation
  23. Working on Road Details
  24. Working on the River
  25. Being Shipped to Skarżysko
  26. Life in Skarżysko
  27. Conditions in Skarżysko
  28. Working in Camp
  29. Attempting Escape from Skarżysko
  30. Talk of Revolt in Camp
  31. Making Ammunition
  32. Making a Mistake on the Job
  33. Being Ill
  34. Jewish Commandant at Skarżysko
  35. Jewish Police in Camp
  36. Getting Punished
  37. Being Transferred to Buchenwald
  38. Traveling to Buchenwald
  39. Making the Panzerfaust in Schlieben
  40. Living Conditions in Buchenwald
  41. Schlieben Ammunition Factory Bombed
  42. Transfer to Theresienstadt
  43. Liberation from Theresienstadt
  44. Attempting to Get into the American Zone
  45. Trying to Move to Palestine
  46. Moving to the United States
  47. Religion in the Camps
  48. Learning about Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto
  49. Medical Experiments in the Camps
  50. Memories
  51. Relations with German Jews in Camp
  52. The Importance of Landsmen
  53. Trouble with the Jewish Police
  54. Job in Camp
  55. Getting Beaten By Jews in Camp
  56. Making a Partnership in Camp
  57. Meeting a Former Jewish Policeman
  58. Traitors
  59. Contact with Brother in Camp
  60. Nearly Getting Caught Smuggling
  61. Money in Camp
  62. Money in Camp II
  63. Life in Italy
  64. Going Back to Poland
  65. Importance of Jews in Society
  66. Life After Liberation
  67. Being Ill II
  68. Sharing Story
  69. Conclusion

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