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Jules T. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1975) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos and Jean-Michel Chaumont

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1975

Videotape testimony of Jules T., a non-Jew, who was born in Bois d'Haine, Belgium in 1916. He recounts his father's work as a miner and his union activities; apprenticing as a printer in 1930; his own union activities; military draft; visits from his father in Diepenbeek; capture in Rumbeke on May 28, 1940; escaping on May 30; returning home; working as a printer; union and Resistance activities; organizing a strike in September 1942; imprisonment in Mons for ten days; sabotaging trains; arrest in December; being brought to Gestapo headquarters in La Louvière; transfer to Charleroi, then Breendonk; frequent executions; observing that Jews received the worst treatment; the torture and execution by drowning of a Jew; being assigned to print Christmas cards for the local German officers; receiving extra rations for this work and sharing them with others; transfer to St. Gilles; torture during interrogations (he never revealed the names of colleagues, but forgives those who did) resulting in a permanent handicap; transfer to prisons in Aachen, Düsseldorf, and Essen; arrival at Neuengamme in February 1944; slave labor on the frozen river; others rescuing him when he fell through the ice; those in his barrack receiving injections; everyone dying but him; a French-speaking prisoner-physician treating him; slave labor in a munitions factory; public hangings; evacuation to Lübeck in spring 1945, placement on a boat; debarkation due to overcrowding (the ship subsequently was bombed and sank); transfer to Neustadt; liberation; assistance from the Red Cross; repatriation through Turnhout to Brussels; reunion with his wife and family; learning his wife had an affair with a collaborator; returning to his parents' home; and his divorce. Mr. T. discusses the importance of luck and his strong will to his survival; his painful return after the war; and accompanying student groups to Breendonk.

Author/Creator
T., Jules, 1916-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1992
Interview Date
June 17, 1992.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Jules T. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1975). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.