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Tobias S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3004) interviewed by Elisabeth Inchusta and Frederic Fichefet

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3004

Videotape testimony of Tobias S., who was born in Tarńow, Poland in 1925, one of two children. He recounts his family's move to Antwerp in 1926; attending a Jewish school; a one-year visit with relatives in Poland in 1935; attending a Jewish school there; attending a Talmudic high school in Belgium; German invasion; fleeing with his family to France; returning after encountering German soldiers; anti-Jewish restrictions including closing of his school and wearing the star; his sister's disappearance (he never saw her again); illegally traveling with his parents to Paris, then south using false papers; their arrest in Bourges; transfer to Pithiviers, then Drancy; deportation in August 1942 to Koźle; separation from his mother (he never saw her again); slave labor in Sakrau building highways; becoming very close to his father; starvation suppressing all other thoughts; transfer to Spytkowice and Trzebinia in winter 1943; separation from his father; assistance from a man from Antwerp when he lost hope; his father assisting him when he became ill; an opera performance giving him hope; moving to his father's barrack; his father buying extra food from Polish civilian workers which helped them survive the cold and starvation; a German transferring him to a privileged position; sharing extra food with his father; transfer in November 1943 to Birkenau; learning of the gas chambers; losing hope his mother and sister were alive; his father's selection for killing in January 1944; transfer to Buna/Monowitz in March; a German prisoner providing him with extra food; encountering British POWs; several privileged positions; assisting a cousin; a death march then train transport to Dora in January 1945; slave labor making V1 rockets; public hangings; transfer to Bergen-Belsen; encountering his cousin again; liberation by British troops; and repatriation. Mr. S. discusses his father's strength in the camps; the inability of language to convey starvation; pervasive painful memories; losing his belief in God; sharing his experiences with his children; traveling with three of them to Auschwitz; speaking at schools; and his belief that nothing is learned from history. He shows a photograph.

Author/Creator
S., Tobias, 1925-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1994
Interview Date
May 25, 1994 and December 1, 1994.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Tobias S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3004). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4290053
Record last modified: 2012-08-24 14:47:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4290053