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Atlanta, Georgia
February 11, 1996
17 pages

Abraham (Abe) Besser was born in Krzepice, Poland into a large family (four sisters and three brothers). He was the youngest. His father, Wolf Hersh Besser, had a sheet metal factory and they were well off. After the Germans occupied the town his family was pushed out of their home. He discusses life under the Germans, including the persecution of his father. Abe volunteered for slave labor so that the Germans would release his sister who had been arrested. He was shipped to a variety of camps in Germany, where he built roads and manufactured ammunition. He was eventually sent to Gross-Rosen concentration camp, where at the end of the war he was driven out on a death march. He was liberated in Bavaria by the Americans. Of his large extended family only he, his four sisters and an aunt survived. Abe and his sisters lived in Germany until they all got visas: one sister went to New York, another to Philadelphis. Abe and another sister came to Atlanta. One sister remained in Germany. Abe arrived in the United States in 1949, landing in New Orleans, where he literally kissed the ground. He worked for a sheet metal company called Rosenthal Metal Company and then went into the construction business for himself. He became an American citizen in 1955. Abe discusses the time he spent as a slave laborer, recalls his family, experiences in the camps, on the death march, immigrating to the United States and rebuilding his life here.

OHC-Abraham (Abe) Besser

Abraham (Abe) Besser - Oral History

21 Related Subjects

Niederkirchen (Slave Labor Camp: Germany)
World War, 1939-1945; Slave Labor Camps: Germany

Slave Labor Camps: Germany
World War, 1939-1945

Markstadt (Slave Labor Camp: Germany)
Slave Labor Camps: Germany; World War, 1939-1945

Funfteichen (Slave Labor Camp: Germany)
World War, 1939-1945; Slave Labor Camps: Germany

Emigration and Immigration

Besser, Abraham (Abe)

Holocaust Survivors

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)

Sukkot; Judaism - Fasts and Feasts

Judaism - Fasts and Feasts

Judaism--Fasts and Feasts

Slave Labor
World War, 1939-1945

Gross-Rosen (Concentration Camps: Germany)
World War, 1939-1945; Concentration Camps: Germany

Judaism - Customs and Practices

Judaism--Customs and Practices

Death Marches
World War, 1939-1945; Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)

World War, 1939-1945 - Concentration Camps: Country

World War, 1939-1945

Rosenthal Metal Company (Atlanta, Ga.)
Metal Industry and Trade

Rosenthal, Samuel

Krzepice (Poland)

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