Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research

Login

Register

Help

Skip to main content

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

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3389

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.

Author/Creator
F., Willi, 1923-
Published
Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 1996
Interview Date
October 2, 1995 and March 28, 1996.
Locale
Germany
Berlin (Germany)
Konstanz (Germany)
Lustenau (Austria)
Feldkirch (Austria)
Graz (Austria)
Friedrichshafen (Germany)
Language
German
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Willi F. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3135). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.