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Joseph B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2974) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos and Sarah Phillips

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2974

Videotape testimony of Joseph B., who was born in 1921 in Poland. He describes immigration to Belgium in 1929; his childhood in a poor, Jewish district of Brussels; participating in Jewish, left-wing organizations including the Bund in Anderlecht; a tailor's apprenticeship; failed escape when Germany invaded; joining the Resistance; the role of the Association des Juifs de Belgique; forced labor in Dammes-Camiers; learning his mother and sisters had been deported; assistance from a driver in escaping with a friend; returning to his father and youngest sister in Brussels; obtaining false papers; working as a tailor; collecting information for the Resistance (Rote Kapelle); arrest on July 27, 1943; imprisonment in St. Gilles; and his registration as a Catholic by a helpful guard. Mr B. recounts improved conditions as a tailor; deportation to Esterwegen; harmonious relationships between prisoner groups (Freemasons, communists, and Catholics), which provided extra rations for youngsters; transfer to Ichtershausen prison in April 1944; evacuation to Pössneck; escape; hiding with non-Jews; liberation; first learning of mass exterminations while returning to Belgium; and reunion with his father and sister. He discusses many incidents in the Resistance, camps, and prisons and conveying to his sons his lack of Jewish identity.

B., Joseph, 1921-
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1993
Interview Date
June 28, 1993.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Joseph B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2974). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.