Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date

May 2008

Creation Date

2008-05-08

Publisher Information

Florida Holocaust Museum in conjunction with University of South Florida Tampa Library and Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center

Keywords

Atrocities, Campaigns, Concentration camps, Crimes against humanity, Eastern Front, Genocide, Germany, Jewish veterans, Liberation, Majdanek, Polish, Poland, Polʹskai͡a divizii͡a imeni Tadeusha Kosti͡ushki, 1-i͡a, Raboche-Krestʹi͡anskai͡a Krasnai͡a Armii͡a, Sachsenhausen, Sobibór, Soviet Union, Storch, Bernhard, United States, Veterans, World War, 1939-1945

Abstract

Oral history interview with Holocaust concentration camp liberator Bernhard Storch. Storch was born in Poland in 1922 and was living in Upper Silesia with his uncle when Germany invaded in 1939. He went back to his hometown and then to L'viv, where he remained for several months. In May 1940 the Soviet government began deporting Poles who were originally from the German-occupied regions, and Storch was sent to a gulag in Siberia. He was a prisoner until November 1941, and he and his family made their way to Uzbekistan, where Storch enlisted in the Polish 1st Tadeusz Kościuszko Infantry Division, which was attached to the Soviet Army. In July 1944 he and his outfit found their first concentration camps, Sobibór and Majdanek, both of which were deserted by the time they arrived. Storch got to Sachsenhausen on April 19, 1945, the first camp where the prisoners were still present and alive, though the guards had already left. He spent no more than an hour or so at each camp, but he did walk around and see their buildings. After the war ended, Storch left Poland and spent some time in a German displaced persons camp before immigrating to the United States in 1947. He frequently lectures about the Holocaust at schools and museums and has been interviewed several times.

Physical Information

1 sound file (168 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (68 p.)