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Ivan I. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1325) interviewed by Jaša Almuli

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1325

Videotape testimony of Ivan I., who was born in Zrenjanin, Yugoslavia (presently Serbia) in 1929. He recounts cordial relations in an ethnically and religiously diverse community; his family's conversion to Christianity; their German affinity (his parents and grandfather attended German medical schools); his father's military service; German invasion in April 1941; his paternal grandparents' suicide; his aunt from Hungarian-occupied Novi Sad bringing him and his sister to live with her (he never saw his parents again); attending gymnasium using his baptismal papers; a massacre of Jews and Serbs in January 1942; German occupation in spring 1944; deportation to the Subotica ghetto, Baja, then Auschwitz in May; being told of the crematoria, but not believing it; transfer to Buchenwald about a week later; “losing” his yellow triangle (the Jewish badge), and replacing it with a red triangle (political prisoner); transfer to Magdeburg after ten days; slave labor in a Brabag factory; becoming weak and losing his will to live; transfer back to Buchenwald in September as unfit to work; a Yugoslav prisoner official arranging his transfer in October to Niederorschel where conditions were better; slave labor in an airplane factory; friendship with H. G. Adler and a French physician; an SS officer assisting them (the doctor testified for him after the war); transfer with Adler to Langenstein in February; Adler's privileged position as a secretary; Adler sharing food he received from guards and officials for whom he wrote poems; hiding during the evacuation in April; liberation by United States troops; and returning home in September. Mr. I. discusses camp jargon and hierarchies; moral questions involving survival; the influence of postwar images on memory; continuing friendships from the camps; and discovering an error in his International Tracing Service records in Arolsen.

Author/Creator
I., Ivan, 1929-
Published
Belgrade, Serbia : Jewish Community in Belgrade, 1989
Interview Date
December 10, 1989.
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Ivan I. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1325). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4283740
Record last modified: 2015-06-11 14:07:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4283740