Martin, Henryk (Henry)
Bedzin (Poland), Birkenau
Mr. Martin was born in Bedzin, Poland in 1915. He came from a large family: Father, Herzl was a carpenter; Mother Terel, three brothers and three sisters. He also had nineteen aunts and uncles and many many cousins. Life in Bedzin was peaceful and beautiful. Everyone had great friends and the children enjoyed playing outside. The best times were the holidays, especially Shabbos and Pesach. The family went to the synagogue and also lit candles on Friday night.
In 1938, he went into the Polish army and soon was pointed out as a Jew to the Germans.
He watched as the trains pulled into the Birkenau concentration camp, filled with people who would all be cremated in a matter of minutes. He watched as this happened and, upon seeing a rabbi that he knew, asked the rabbi his thoughts to which the rabbi replied “There is no God.” He was possibly in Block 11.
He came to the U.S. from Sweden in 1950 and lived on 12th Street in Detroit. He worked for Stollman as a carpenter and eventually moved to Oak Park, MI.
At the time of this interview, his wife was deceased. He now lives in Florida and has three children and five grandchildren.
Interviewer: Rabbi Rosenzveig
Length: 51 minutes
Format: Video recording