Joseph W. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2852) interviewed by Claudine Drame and Berthe Burko-Falcman
- Paris, France : Témoignages pour mémoire, 1994
- Interview Date
- March 17, 1994.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Joseph W. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2852). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Joseph W., who was born in Łódź, Poland in 1929, one of four children. He describes his orthodox family; living in his grandfather's home in Konstantynów until age five; attending cheder; German invasion; ghettoization; his father's death in 1940; smuggling food from outside the ghetto with his younger brother; hiding his youngest brother during round-ups; giving him up when all children were collected; his mother's death in 1943; several jobs in ghetto factories; friendship with Jankele Herszkowicz, a popular ghetto singer, who raised spirits with his songs; his brother's and sister's deportation; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau in summer 1944; a prisoner suggesting he register his age older than fifteen; a friend choosing to go to the gas chambers with a younger brother so he would not die alone, a memory that haunts him to this day; forming a group of friends that assisted each other; hiding during selections; assignment guarding clandestine goods in Canada Kommando; transfer to Braunschweig; slave labor in a tobacco factory; trading smuggled tobacco for extra food that he shared with his group; a death march to Ravensbrück in April 1945; receiving Red Cross packages; transfer to Wöbbelin; cannibalism; liberation by United States troops in May 1945; emigration to Paris; emigration to Israel to fight in the 1948 War of Independence; and returning to Paris. Mr. W. discusses prisoner hierarchy and group relations in camps, and sings ghetto and concentration camp songs.