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Josef R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1505) interviewed by Rivie Zeiler and Beatrice Harrison

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1505

Videotape testimony of Josef R. who was born in Skarżysko-Kamienna, Poland in 1928. He recalls expulsion from public school in 1939; ghettoization; his older sister arranging for the family, including his six-year-old sister, to go to Skarżysko-Kamienna labor camp when the ghetto was liquidated; sorting prisoner's clothing; the killing of a co-worker which affected him deeply; hiding the younger sister during inspections; finding a diamond which his father traded for food; transfer to Częstochowa, then, with his father, to Buchenwald in late 1944 (he later learned his mother and sisters were liberated the next day); his father helping him look older and stronger to pass selections; transfer to Terezín (he never saw his father again); and liberation by Soviet troops. Mr. R. recounts returning to Skarżysko with his mother and sisters; fleeing to Germany due to antisemitism; living in the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp; emigrating to the United States; and his mother and sister emigrating years later. He addresses his reluctance to discuss these experiences and his acceptance of camp life and being surrounded by corpses as "normal" since he knew no other childhood.

Author/Creator
R., Josef, 1928-
Published
Mahwah, N.J. : Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 1990
Interview Date
May 31, 1990.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Josef R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1505). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.