Henry One month after arriving in Birkenau

Henry eventually arrived in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp where he and a few other prisoners had to deal with roll calls that seems endless. At this point, Henry learned to be invisible to ensure he would not gain any unnecessary attention.Whilst being at the camp Henry met two brothers who were both immensely strong and fit. On a regular occasion, they would give Henry slices of bread so that he would starve. One day Henry was forced to watch the weekly hangings at the death camp, this was the moment he realised that the brothers he had made friends with were the hangmen and that the bread was their payment. One month after arriving in Birkenau Henry had heard that the Germans were recruiting youngsters for labour purposes.

Henry ran into the courtyard yelling ich spreche Deutsch (I speak German). Henry never knew why he had said that but before he had time to process what he had just done they took him and branded him with a makeshift tattoo machine and very little sanitation. Making him B-7648. He was taken to a barracks in Auschwitz where he was given the daily task of caring for the horses and maintaining the stables. On December 1944 the Henry was transported to the Auschwitz subcamp called plawy.

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In 1945 Henry and many other Jews were loaded into a cattle car for a death march The following day, allied planes gunned the train, thinking the prisoners were German troops. Although This was tragic as many lives were lost, Henry Oster was lucky enough to survive the attack with no injury. On April 11th Henry was saved by the George S. Patton’s third army after they liberated the camp during the night.

Henry then lived in an orphanage in Ecouix, France as he was the only known survivor left in his family. Henry stayed in France until his uncle, who lived in Los Angeles and had found Henry through a list of survivors in the L.A. Times. In 1946 Henry had officially moved to the united states of America where he first lived in New York until finally travelling to Los Angeles to join his uncle.

From that point on Henry attended a school where he learned English and other essential things. Henry eventually graduated from high school with the qualification of getting accepted into UCLA with the ambition of becoming an optometrist.Henry then opened a flourishing optometry facility in Beverly Hills. Henry married Susan who he had two daughters and one son with. Henry became one of the first speakers in the Museum of Tolerance to speak about his story.


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