Henryk Nussbaum

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This is my brother Henryk Nussbaum in his uniform from Dr Hilfstein's Hebrew Gymnasium. The picture was taken in Cracow in 1932, it's written on the back of it.

My brother, Henryk, was four years older. When we were children, we would be first in love, then argue. My brother was a very able student, which always made me furious. He was an excellent physicist and mathematician. I remember that in school they even used to call him 'Fosgen'. And I was a little in my brother's shadow, because I was gifted, but not as much. He was always more talked about than me, and that annoyed me a lot. Even though I had good results at school and a great capacity for languages.

My brother, when he was 13, had his bar mitzvah. There was a huge celebration, as there is among Jews, even assimilated ones. That was a duty. He got what was called tefillin. You wound it around your arm, only I don't know how many times - I don't know that tradition - and tied it to your forehead. These squares, little boxes; I don't know what they meant. There were a lot of guests and a great celebration. And I was furious, because my brother got a load of presents and they didn't give me anything. And I started crying that I hadn't got anything. So Father went out the next day and bought me a scooter, because I was howling and stamping my feet all the time that my brother had got so much. A whole roomful of presents and nothing for me, and he didn't want to give me anything. I even got mad at him and didn't give him my best wishes, because I was so mad. For three days there was a huge celebration, we ate and drank. And I was furious the whole time and was pleased when it was all over.

Interview details

Interviewee: Teofila Silberring
Magdalena Bizon
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Krakow, Poland


Henryk Nussbaum
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Concentration camp

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Also interviewed by:
Memorial and Museum Auschwitz - Birkenau
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