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Willi F. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3389) interviewed by Cathy S. Gelbin and Eva Lezzi,

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3389

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    Videotape testimony of Willi F., who was born in Berlin, Germany in 1923 to a Jewish father and Catholic mother. He recounts the excitement of Nazi rallies; learning his father was Jewish (though he had converted to Catholicism) in 1932 when he was harassed at school; anti-Jewish laws barring him from an apprenticeship; working for a Communist Party member; the impact of anti-Jewish laws increasing after Kristallnacht; forced labor in a munitions factory; sabotaging his work; traveling to Konstanz, planning to enter Switzerland illegally; a guard accosting him; traveling to Lustenau to enter there; arrest while trying to cross the border; six weeks of interrogation in Feldkirch; six-month imprisonment in Graz; traveling to Friedrichshafen, then back to Berlin; forced labor removing Allied bombing rubble; transfer to Auschwitz; slave labor at Buna-Monowitz; and transfer to Dora. Mr. F. discusses convincing a prisoner to eat soup even if it was not kosher; beatings in Auschwitz and Dora; losing hope of surviving; camp guards purposely setting German and "foreign" Jews against each other; reluctance to share his story; and his wife and children understanding him better after watching his first testimony.
    F., Willi, 1923-
    Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 1996
    Interview Date
    October 2, 1995 and March 28, 1996.
    Berlin (Germany)
    Konstanz (Germany)
    Lustenau (Austria)
    Feldkirch (Austria)
    Graz (Austria)
    Friedrichshafen (Germany)
    Cite As
    Willi F. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3135). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
    Other Authors/Editors
    Gelbin, Cathy S., interviewer.
    Lezzi, Eva, interviewer.
    This testimony is in German.

    Physical Details

    2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
    Physical Description
    2 videorecordings (39 min. and 1 hr., 10 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Child survivors.
    Crystal Night, 1938.
    Antisemitism Prewar.
    Mutual aid.
    Survivor-child relations.
    Postwar experiences.

    Administrative Notes

    Link to Yale University Library Catalog:
    Record last modified:
    2018-05-29 11:58:00
    This page:

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