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Mendel B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4453) interviewed by interviewed by David Herman and Jonathan Friedland

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4453

Videotape testimony of Mendel B., who was born in Poland in 1921, one of three children. He recounts his family moving to Izbica that year; their poverty; attending Polish school and cheder; antisemitic harassment; his bar mitzvah; participating in Shomer Hatzair, Maccabi, and Ha-Poel Ha-Zair; their move to Łódź in March 1939; working as a watchmaker with his father; improved economic conditions; German invasion in September; briefly fleeing with his father to Izbica; ghettoization in February; forced labor in several ghetto workshops; pervasive starvation, disease, and death; deportation to Auschwitz in August 1944; he and his father volunteering together as watchmakers; receiving extra rations; his father encouraging him to volunteer for transfer; their separation (he never saw him again); transfer to Görlitz; slave labor in Wumag Fabrik; public executions; a civilian worker secretly leaving him extra food; making a comb for the women prisoners; a death march in February 1945; return to Görlitz; liberation by Soviet troops in May; a Soviet Jewish doctor treating him for dysentery; returning to Łódź in June, seeking relatives; learning he was the sole family survivor; returning to Izbica with a friend; returning to Łódź after a warning from the Armia Krajowa they would be killed; traveling to Kraków, Prague, then Feldafing displaced persons camp; assistance from the Red Cross; moving to Landsberg, back to Feldafing, then Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camps; and emigrating to join relatives in England. Mr. B. notes people were not interested in his experiences after the war; sharing his stories with his daughter; his son's fears that retelling his experiences caused him too much pain; and satisfaction at sharing his experiences through this testimony.

Author/Creator
B., Mendel, 1921-
Published
London, England : British Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
Interview Date
June 17, 1992.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Mendel B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4453). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.