Oral History Interview with Lillian Wishnefsky

Lillian (Lili) Wishnefsky, née Kupferberg, was born in Sosnowiec, Poland in December l929. Her father was a merchant and her mother a professional pianist. She attended public school until fourth grade when Germany invaded Poland in September l939. She describes the formation of the Sosnowiec Ghetto in 1941, the confiscation of her father’s factory, her clandestine education, life in the ghetto and deportations. After one and a half years in the ghetto, her family was moved to Srodula Ghetto; her mother obtained false papers and was hidden by Christians. She describes the Nazis taking her father in the middle of the night, murdering her grandparents and deporting her, via an unnamed transit camp, to Auschwitz (Birkenau) where she was assigned to forced labor. Her barracks were located across from the gas chambers. One and a half years later, she was sent on the death march to Ravensbrück. She was part of a prisoner exchange arranged by President Roosevelt and traveled to Sweden via Denmark. She describes her experiences on a Danish farm and her move to Stockholm which was precipitated by a Swedish publishing company’s interest in her diary. She moved to the U.S. in November l945.

Date: 12/10/1986
Interviewer: Edith Millman
Interviewee: Lillian Wishnefsky
Language: English
Subject: Concentration camp inmates--Medical care.
Death march survivors.
Death marches.
Forced labor.
Gas chambers.
Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Poland--Personal narratives.
Identification cards--Forgeries--Poland.
Jewish ghettos--Poland--Sosnowiec (Województwo Slaskie)
Jews--Poland--Sosnowiec (Województwo Slaskie)
Women concentration camp inmates.
World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor.
World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Poland.
Women--Personal narratives.
Location: Sosnowiec, Poland
Sosnowiec Ghetto
Srodula Ghetto
Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration camp
Ravensbrück concentration camp
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-lillian-wishnefsky/
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