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Benjamin J. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1274) interviewed by Lawrence L. Langer

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1274

Videotape testimony of Benjamin J., who was born in Dobra, Poland in 1919, the youngest of three children. He recalls antisemitic harassment; attending one year of dental school; German invasion; ghettoization; assistance from a few Polish friends; deportation with his father in 1941 to Poznań; slave labor for Hoch und Tiefbau; receiving extra food from a Polish woman who also smuggled mail to him; a severe beating for smuggling bread; transfer with his father in 1943 to a nearby camp; public executions; assignment to the hospital as a dentist and medical assistant; learning his mother and sister had been deported; transfer with his father in August 1943 to Auschwitz/Birkenau, then shortly thereafter to Myslowice (Fürstengrube); encounters with Otto Moll, whom he later treated when he was the camp dentist; reunion with his brother; his father's death; a death march with his brother in January 1945 to Gleiwitz; train transfer to Buchenwald, then Dora; slave labor in a rocket factory; Folke Bernadotte, with the Swedish Red Cross, taking western European prisoners to Sweden in May 1945 (he attempted to go as French citizen, but failed); transfer to Lübeck; surviving the sinking of the Cap Arcona; liberation by British troops; traveling with his brother to Frankfurt; refusing to live in a displaced persons camp; moving to Lüdenscheid; locating relatives in the United States through HIAS; and joining them in 1949. Mr. J. discusses his state of mind, the social order, and many details of camp life; learning his mother and sister had been killed at Chelmno; recently visiting his home and camp sites in Poland and Germany; not discussing his experiences until recently; and speaking to students.

Author/Creator
J., Benjamin, 1919-
Published
New Haven, Conn. : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1988
Interview Date
March 16, May 24, June 9, and June 23, 1988.
Language
English
Copies
5 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; Betacam SP restoration submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Benjamin J. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1274). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.