Benjamin D. Holocaust testimony (HVT-989) interviewed by Martha Schulwolf and Mark Blechner
- New York, N.Y. : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1988
- Interview Date
- May 14, 1988.
- 3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Benjamin D. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-989). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Benjamin D., who was born in Vilna, Poland, in 1914. He tells of studying fine arts; conscription into the Polish army; antisemitism in the military; Soviet occupation; imprisonment by the Soviets; escape; hiding in Dubno; returning to Vilna; marriage in 1939; brief service in the Soviet army; German invasion; an unsuccessful attempt to escape; formation of the Judenrat; the murder of its members; and appointment of another one. Mr. D. describes mass killings in Ponary; hiding with his wife; ghettoization; working as an artist; the killing of his grandfather and other elderly people; the ghetto underground; deportation with his wife to Ereda in Estonia; forced labor; a young boy's Hanukkah observation which gave them courage; the camp's liquidation; and transfer to Lagedi, then Stutthof. He details conditions and atrocities in the camps; recovery from typhus; liquidation of Stutthof; transfer to another camp; and liberation by Soviet troops. Mr. D. notes that he wrote a book to explain that survivors of such abnormal times could remain normal and reflects upon the importance of his artistic ability and helping each other to both his own and his wife's survival.