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Ralph W. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2727) interviewed by Rivie Zeiler

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2727

Videotape testimony of Ralph W., who was born in Łódź, Poland in 1924. He recalls economic hardships when his father lost his job in 1935; living in a Jewish neighborhood; German invasion in 1939; two German soldiers severely beating his father; ghettoization; his parents' deportation to Chelmno in 1941 (he never saw them again); obtaining a privileged job as a factory cook with assistance from a family friend; transfer to factory labor in March 1944; volunteering for deportation in someone's place for extra food and clothing; transfer to Częstochowa; slave labor building a HASAG factory; exchanging possessions with Polish civilian workers for extra food; train transfer to Buchenwald in late summer; public hangings of escapees; transfer to Sonneberg; slave labor as an electrician; a death march in March 1945; escaping near Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia after about four weeks, knowing he could not continue walking; claiming to be a Pole; being given food, shoe coupons, and a train ticket to Chomutuv; volunteering to work for Germans; their departure on May 8, 1945; recuperating in Görlitz; returning to Łódź; and his profound sorrow on learning only three survived of some 350 who had lived in his courtyard. He shows documents.

Author/Creator
W., Ralph, 1924-
Published
Mahwah, N.J. : Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 1993
Interview Date
October 15, 1993.
Language
English
Copies
4 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; Betacam SP restoration master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Ralph W. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2727). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.