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John H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1688) interviewed by Helen Cohn

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1688

Videotape testimony of John H., who was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia in 1918. He recalls a happy youth in an assimilated family; participating in Zionist organizations; beginning medical school; German invasion; unsuccessfully attempting to escape to Prague; anti-Jewish restrictions; a non-Jewish friend purchasing a train ticket for his escape; traveling to San Remo, then Nice, in July 1939; the outbreak of war in September; enlisting in the Czech military; retreating from the Germans; evacuation to Liverpool in 1940; continuing medical training in London; rejoining his military unit, which was incorporated into the British military; participating in the invasion of Europe; and liberating Plzeň in April 1945. Dr. H. recounts traveling to Brno; learning his family had been deported and had perished; discharge from the military; completing medical studies in Brno; working as a surgeon; assisting in obtaining arms for Israel in 1948; emigrating to Israel; serving as a military medical officer; marriage in 1958; organizing medical services in Ethiopia for seven years; and emigration to the United States. He discusses his return to the Czech Republic with his family when Václav Havel invited Czech World War II resistance participants to visit.

H., John, 1918-
Houston, Tex. : Holocaust Education Center and Memorial Museum of Houston, 1991
Interview Date
March 8, 1991.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
John H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1688). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.