Ivan I. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1325) interviewed by Jaša Almuli
- Belgrade, Serbia : Jewish Community in Belgrade, 1989
- Interview Date
- December 10, 1989.
- 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.
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.