Oral History Interview with Margaret Beer

Margaret Beer (née Weiss), born in 1911 in Sziget, Hungary (Sighet, Romania), describes the German invasion of Hungary; S.S. troops being moved into many Jewish homes, including hers; how the troops with the help of Hungarian authorities identified prominent Jews who were forced to form a Jewish council; the Germans confiscating Jewish businesses and personal property; ghettoization; how the Jews were helped by non-Jewish Hungarians, who smuggled food into the ghetto; the evacuation of all Jewish patients from the local hospital; the formation of a Jewish police force; the evacuation of the Jews from the ghetto and the transports to Auschwitz; life in Auschwitz including the initial selection, showers, barracks, Appells, work conditions, food allotment, wash barracks, and her selection by Mengele; transported to Gelsenkirchen, Germany in July 1944 to work in the Krupp armament industry; the working conditions and Allied bombings; being transferred to Sömmerda in Thuringia, Germany in September 1944 to work in another ammunition factory; being evacuated from the camp in April 1945 when the Allies got closer; escaping during the march and eventually finding housing in a German village until liberation at the end of April 1945; receiving help from Russian POW’s and later American liberators; and her skills as a dressmaker helping sustain her until May 1946 when she could join her brother in Philadelphia, PA.

Date: 01/01/1992
Interviewer: self-taped memoir
Interviewee: Margaret Beer
Language: English
Subject: Bombing, Aerial--Germany--Gelsenkirchen.
Concentration camp inmates--Selection process.
Death march survivors.
Death marches.
Forced labor.
Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives.
Jewish councils--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei.
Jewish ghettos--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei.
Jewish police officers--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei.
Jewish property--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei.
Jewish women in the Holocaust.
Jews--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei.
Prisoners of war--Soviet Union.
Roll calls.
Smuggling--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei.
Soldiers--Billeting--Romania--Sighetu Marmatiei.
Soldiers--United States.
Women concentration camp inmates.
Women dressmakers.
World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor.
World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Romania.
Women--Personal narratives.
Geographic Name
Gelsenkirchen (Germany)
Germany--Armed Forces--Romania.
Oświęcim (Poland)
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Sighetu Marmatiei (Romania)
Sömmerda (Germany)
Thuringia (Germany)
United States--Emigration and immigration.
Location: Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania
Sighet Ghetto
Auschwitz concentration camp
Kruppwerke near Gelsenkirchen
Sömmerda concentration camp
Wiesbaden Displaced Person camp
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-margaret-beer/
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