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Dov F. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1825) interviewed by Avraham Atsili and Tovah Evan

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1825

Videotape testimony of Dov F. who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1927, one of four children. He recalls his family's move to Łódź when he was eight; his father and older brother fleeing when the Germans were approaching (his father never returned); his brother's return a few months later; his mother running his father's factory; her efforts to find his father's body and the subsequent burial; moving to Warsaw with his family to join his grandparents; ghettoization; starvation and extreme cold; attending synagogue with his grandfather on his bar mitzvah, but no festivities; his mother sending one brother out of the ghetto, then sending Mr. F. with smugglers to join relatives in Lublin in 1941; moving to Turobin to live with his father's sister; seeing his brother every day; a round-up and forced march to Krasnystaw via Żółkiewka where others joined them; train transport to Sobibór; sneaking into a group of tradesmen during a selection; slave labor digging ditches and in the forestry unit; frequent beatings; learning of the mass killings in gas chambers; his sense of complete isolation; planning his suicide; reassignment cutting the hair of arriving Jews prior to their gassings, then cleaning the Ukrainian guards' barracks; becoming part of a group, which resulted in reacquiring his will to live; assistance from many other prisoners when he was sick; public, sadistic executions of escapees; his obsession with planning a mass escape; formulating a plan after the arrival of Russian prisoners of war who had military experience; and acquiring weapons for the plan.
Mr. F. recounts the October 14, 1943 mass escape (about 300 of 600 escapees survived); joining others in the nearby forest; a sense of elation; obtaining food from farmers by force while seeking partisans; escaping with two others from an attack by Polish partisans; a Polish farmer offering to hide them, but realizing it was too dangerous; finding two local Jewish brothers who had bunkers in the forest for a group hiding with them; an attack by Poles; the four survivors hiding with two Polish women; two of the men pretending to love the women and having affairs with them hoping to increase their safety; having to join a gang of thieves led by the brother of one of the women; liberation by Soviet troops; moving to Chełm; living with a family that wanted to adopt him; overwhelming depression; leaving for Berlin intending to emigrate to Israel; illegal emigration on the Exodus, a meaningful experience for him; and participating in all the Israeli wars.

Author/Creator
F., Dov, 1927-
Published
Ramat Aviv, Israel : Beth Hatefutsoth, Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, 1986-1987
Interview Date
August 12, 1986, December 24, 1986, and January 27, 1987.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
4 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; Betacam SP restoration submaster and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Dov F. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1825). 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/4284554
Record last modified: 2014-02-20 10:01:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4284554