Johann Stojka on Auschwitz

Johann Stojka was born to a Roma family on March 20, 1929 in Vienna, Austria. He spent most of his childhood travelling in a trailer with his parents Maria Stojka, Karl Horvath and his five siblings, Katharina, Karl, Margareta, Amalia and Josef. His parents made a living by trading horses.

On Nazi command in 1938 the family settled in Vienna, where Johann went to school until his father was arrested in 1940. In 1943, Johann got arrested and transported to the Auschwitz IIBirkenau extermination camp, where he and his family were housed in the barracks of the Zigeunerlager (German: "Gypsy camp")—part of Birkenau designated for Roma and Sinti prisoners. Fourteen years of age, Johann was considered to be fit for work and therefore assigned to compulsory labor. In 1944, he and his brother were first transported to the Buchenwald concentration camp and subsequently transferred to the Flossenbürg concentration camp in 1945. In April of 1945, all inmates of Flossenbürg, including Johann and his brother Karl, were forced to depart the camp under stringent security. Johann and his brother were able to escape the death march and were rescued by American troops on April 24. Johann’s parents and sisters survived as well, his youngest brother died in Auschwitz IIBirkenau of a typhus infection. After liberation Johann Stojka returned to Vienna.

The interview was conducted in Vienna, Austria on April 22, 1998. The interviewer: Eva Ribarits, the cameraman: Oskar Goldberger.

Language: German