Jan R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2472) interviewed by Elaine Shepp and Lee Blum
- Wilmette, Ill. : Holocaust Education Foundation, 1994
- Interview Date
- April 24, 1994.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Jan R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2472). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Jan R., who was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1924. He recalls his family's strong Czech, rather than Jewish, identity; German occupation in 1939; anti-Jewish laws; deportation to Theresienstadt in May 1942; forced labor in the fields, then in a laboratory; surgery; the Jewish leadership's decision to provide more resources for young people; lectures and concerts; sham improvements during a Red Cross visit; an encounter with Rabbi Benjamin Murmelstein; meeting his future wife; deportation to Auschwitz in September 1944 (he never saw his parents and sister again); a kapo hitting a boy to compel him to say he was older, thus helping the boy survive; difficulty believing what he was experiencing; transfer to forced labor in Meuselwitz; train evacuation to Kraslice; disappearance of the guards during a death march in May 1945; and recovering in a hospital in Zatec. Mr. R. describes returning to Prague; marriage in 1947; becoming an academic; the births of his sons in 1954 and 1956; their escape to Denmark; and emigration to the United States. He reflects upon the importance of judging individuals, not groups, and the danger of absolute power. He shows family photographs.