Oral History Interview with Henry Altschuler

Dr. Henry Altschuler was born March 28, 1923 in Jaroslaw, Poland. He was educated at both Cheder and public school where he experienced some anti-Semitism. He talks about Jewish life in pre-war Poland and resistance to local pogroms. He describes his flight to Rovno in the Ukraine with his father because a policemen warned him to escape the invading Germans. After a brief return to Jaroslaw, he escaped to Chrobieszuw . He describes life in the Russian occupied zone and after the German invasion in June 1941.

He was in Jaktoruw concentration camp from 1941 to 1942 . His mother ransomed him helped by the Judenrat but he was caught and rearrested later. Together with his family he was moved into the Lubazuw ghetto. His family perished but he escaped and went into hiding with a Polish family until he was caught and sent to a work camp in Lemberg. He escaped, was caught again and put into a death cell at Locki prison with two former “Kommando 1008” Jews where he witnessed many murders. About to be executed, he was reprieved and was transferred to the destroyed Lemberg labor camp where all incoming Jews were executed and he was almost beaten to death. He also was in Plaszow camp (near Crakow) for six months. He talks about all of these experiences in great detail with many vignettes.
He was liberated by Russians in 1945 , returned to Lemberg and emigrated to the United States from Germany, in September, 1949
He describes lasting emotional and physical effects of his experiences. Throughout the interview he cites many instances of brutality, of Polish and Ukrainian co-operation with the Germans, as well as several times when he was helped by non-Jews, and some attempts at resistance.

Date: 03/17/1981
Interviewer: Josey G. Fisher
Interviewee: Henry Altschuler
Language: English
Subject: World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Jewish
Location: Jaroslaw, Poland
Rivne, Ukraine
Hrubieszów, Poland
Jaktorow concentration camp
Lubaczów Ghetto
Lemberg concentration camp
Prison on Lacki Street
Plaszow concentration camp
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