Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

René R. Holocaust tesimony (HVT-2983) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos and Rina Margos,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2983

Videotape testimony of René R., who was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1918. He recounts his parents' emigration from Poland; their militant participation in the Bund; his own leftist activities; working as a civil servant for the Ministry of Health; German invasion; anti-Jewish measures; working for the Front de l'Indépendance and other Resistance groups; his brother's arrest as a Resistant; his arrest in July 1943; eight months in Breendonk; a German guard sending his letters to his family; transfer to Malines as a Jew; gaining weight there, to which he attributes his survival; deportation in April 1944; arrival at Birkenau; forty days in quarantine; transfer to Laurahuette; learning his father had been gassed in Birkenau; slave labor in a munitions factory; help from a friend after a severe beating (this saved his life); evacuation to Mauthausen;; liberation by United States troops in May 1945; three months hospitalization in Mainau; repatriation to Brussels; reunion with his mother; and six months in a tuberculosis sanitarium in Montana, Switzerland. Mr. R. discusses the importance of friends and luck to his survival; learning his brother had been decapitated in Germany; participating in survivor organizations; and the importance of speaking out about his experiences.

R., René, 1918-
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1992
Interview Date
March 20, 1992.
Montana (Switzerland)
Brussels (Belgium)
Mainau Island (Germany)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
René R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2983). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2019-01-30 17:06:00
This page: