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Paul R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1977) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos and Jean-Michel Chaumont

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1977

Videotape testimony of Paul R., who was born in Nowy Sącz, Poland in 1920. He recalls apprenticeship to a tailor at age eleven; the family's move to Belgium in 1936; working as a tailor; poverty and unemployment; local prominence as a table tennis player; German invasion; table tennis matches with German officers; deportation to Dannes in 1942, then to Malines and Auschwitz; sadistic beatings; working as a tailor and in the Canada Kommando; emotional numbness including indifference to others; trading valuables found in clothes for food; witnessing SS put Zyklon B in gas chambers; punishments after Mala Zimetbaum's escape; transfer to Warsaw in June 1943 with non-Polish and Russian prisoners to clear rubble; receiving food from a Polish civilian co-worker; the death march and train transport to Dachau; transfer to Waldlager V; casualties from frequent Allied bombings; liberation from an evacuation train by the Red Cross; recuperating in Mannheim; returning to Brussels; reunion with his sister; and marriage in 1954. Mr. R. discusses many details of camp life and relations between prisoner groups.

Author/Creator
R., Paul, 1920-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1992
Interview Date
June 10, 1992.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS.
Cite As
Paul R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1977). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.