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Leon B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2774) interviewed by Jaša Almuli

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2774

Videotape testimony of Leon B., who was born in Thessalonikē, Greece in approximately 1915. He recalls his large family; attending Italian school; working with his father and uncle; deteriorating conditions beginning from July 1942; the Jewish community raising funds to ransom people from labor camps; ghettoization in February 1943; the role of the Judenrat and its president, Rabbi Zvi Koretz; deportations beginning in March 1943; his family's arrival at Auschwitz/Birkenau on May 2; separation from his parents; slave labor paving a road; transfer a month later to Zgoda (Świętochłowice); hospitalization; return with other sick prisoners to Auschwitz/Birkenau in January 1944 for extermination; a reprieve in front of the gas chambers because there were too few; hospitalization; recovering; sewing for the doctors (he was a tailor); reassignment in August separating plane parts, to Canada Kommando, then, in November, to destroy the crematoria; a death march in January 1945 and train transport to Dachau, then Waldlager; return to Dachau when he was ill; a death march and train transport to Mittenwald; and liberation by United States troops. Mr. B. describes working three months as a translator for the United States army; returning to Thessalonikē via Munich and Athens; learning his parents and younger sister were killed in Birkenau; marriage; raising a family; and his leadership role in the Jewish community, which received assistance from the Joint.

B., Leon, 1915?-
Thessalonikē, Greece: Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies 1993
Interview Date
June 1, 1993.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Leon B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2774). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.