Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

George Z. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4465) interviewed by Lawrence L. Langer,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4465

Videotape testimony of George Z., who was born in Katowice, Poland in 1933, an only child, and raised in Będzin. He recounts living with his parents and grandparents; their affluence; German invasion in 1939; fleeing to Kielce; returning home about a week later; finding their apartment ransacked; staying home while the adults worked; forced relocation; ghettoization in Kamionka; hiding with others during round-ups; his father purchasing false papers; escaping with his parents and grandparents to Budapest; his mother dyeing his hair blond; German invasion in March 1944; escaping to Bratislava; arrest en route; a Pole releasing them from a Polish prisoner of war camp; arrest while attempting to return to Budapest; deportation to Sered, then Auschwitz in November 1944; briefly remaining with his family, then separation to a children's barrack; his father bringing him extra food; hospitalization for scarlet fever; a death march in January 1945; abandonment by the guards the first night; returning to Auschwitz; liberation by Soviet troops; an uncle bringing him to Kraków; his disappearance (he had been arrested); bringing him food in prison; placement with local Jews; attending school for the first time; traveling to Budapest in June hoping to find his family; placement in a Hashomer Hatzair orphanage; reunion with his mother in Prague; traveling with her to the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp where she had left his grandmother (she died in the interim); living in Kaunitz; his mother's marriage in Esslingen to a distant cousin who adopted him; his bar mitzvah; emigration to the United States in April 1950; his education; and his career as a physics professor. Mr. Z. discusses the hierarchy of national prisoner groups in Auschwitz and not knowing the fate of his father and grandfather. He shows photographs.

Z., George, 1933-
New Haven, Conn. : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 2014
Interview Date
May 8, 2014.
Katowice (Poland)
Będzin (Poland)
Kielce (Poland)
Budapest (Hungary)
Bratislava (Slovakia)
Kraków (Poland)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Kaunitz (Germany)
Esslingen am Neckar (Germany)
3 copies: DVCam Master; Betacam SP submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
George Z. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4465). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.