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