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Henryk P. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3171) interviewed by Michel Sobelman

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3171

Videotape testimony of Henryk P., who was born in Góra Kalwaria, Poland in 1916. He recounts his father's death when he was a baby; cordial relations with non-Jews; attending six years of Polish school; participating in Hapoel Hamizrachi; apprenticing as a tailor; working for a Catholic; military draft in November 1937; serving in an elite unit in Suwałki; becoming an officer; transfer to Raczki; German invasion; skirmishes in Cimochy and elsewhere; transfer to Hrodna; capture by Soviet troops in Shchuchyn in September; forced labor; release in December; returning home via Warsaw; forced labor assignments from the Judenrat; ghettoization; escaping to the Magnuszew ghetto; obtaining false papers from a priest with help from a Polish friend; transfer to a labor camp; escaping to Magnuszew in December 1943; learning his mother died in the Warsaw ghetto when visiting his brother and sister in Głowaczów (he never saw them again); being warned to leave; a poor woman hiding him in Podwierzbie, even from Narodowe Siły Zbrojne, a Polish nationalist group (he had her recognized by Yad Vashem); liberation by Soviet troops; seeing the flames from the Warsaw uprising; believing he was one of the only Jews left; working for the Soviets in Podłęż; returning to Góra Kalwaria in 1945 to join other survivors; and marriage. Mr. P. discusses Poles who hid Jews in Sokółka; many Poles who risked their lives for Jews; the influence and escape of the Chasidic rebbe, Abraham Alter, from Góra Kalwaria; and Jewish pilgrimages there to this day.

P., Henryk, 1916-
Warsaw, Poland : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
Interview Date
May 6, 1995.
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Henryk P. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3171). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.