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Leopold S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4450) interviewed by Dana L. Kline and Barbara Hadley Katz

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4450

Videotape testimony of Leopold S., who was born in Facimiech, Poland in 1920, the fourth of six children. He recounts living with an aunt in Kraków for two years, then with an uncle in Skawina to attend school; his family's move to Kraków; apprenticing as a barber and in a factory; assisting in his father's store; winning a scholarship to art school in 1939; German invasion; fleeing with his father and three brothers to Kaunas, then Soviet-occupied Lʹviv; finding jobs; their deportation by Soviets in spring 1940 to Arkhangelʹsk; forced labor; receiving one letter from his mother and sisters through the Red Cross (they did not survive); refusing to work on Yom Kippur; hospitalization of his father and one brother in Kotlas; his father's death; he and his other brother burying him; their journey to Saratov, then Rimsko-Korsakovka in spring 1942; returning to Saratov a few months later; traveling to Tashkent, Tajikistan, Alma-Ata, then Farghona, all restricted areas where they could not stay; moving to a factory town where they obtained permission to live; working briefly in a cement factory, then as a graphic artist; contacting relatives in Israel who sent them food; returning to Poland in summer 1945; futile attempts to reclaim their family property or receive compensation for it; antisemitic discrimination; moving to the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp in spring 1946; marriage in December 1947; and emigration to the United States in June 1949. Mr. S. discusses his gratitude to Russia for his survival and being assigned an art studio in the displaced persons camp where he created posters, book covers, murals, and other art. He shows photographs, scrapbooks, and documents.

S., Leopold, 1920-
New Haven, Conn. : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 2012
Interview Date
July 5, 2012.
Facimiech (Poland)
Kraków (Poland)
Skawina (Poland)
Kaunas (Lithuania)
Lʹviv (Ukraine)
Arkhangelʹsk (Russia)
Kotlas (Russia)
Saratov (Russia)
Rimsko-Korsakovka (Russia)
Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan)
Farghona (Uzbekistan)
3 copies: DVCam Master; Betacam SP submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Leopold S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4450). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.