Hans R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3419) interviewed by Eva Lezzi and Cathy S. Gelbin
- Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 1996
- Interview Date
- February 2, 1996.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Hans R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3419). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Hans R., who was born in Berlin, Germany in 1924, the oldest of four children. He recalls attending Hebrew school; its closure due to antisemitic laws; harassment by former playmates; his parents losing their jobs; attending a Jewish trade school; brief incarceration with his father and grandfather in Sachsenhausen in 1938; fleeing to the Netherlands in 1941; returning home at his father's request; working in the Jewish cemetery, then in a factory; deportation with his family in October 1942; jumping from the train at his father's urging (he never saw his family again); returning to Berlin; resuming work illegally; deportation in June 1943 to Auschwitz/Birkenau; transfer to Buna/Monowitz; slave labor for I. G. Farben; brief hospitalization; assistance from friends; the pervasive smell of burning flesh; public hangings; a death march to Gleiwitz in January 1945; transport to Sachsenhausen, then Flossenbürg; becoming ill; being placed in an open mass grave; liberation by United States troops two days later; hospitalization in Germany until 1951; returning to Berlin; completing his education; marriage to a non-Jew; and the births of two children. He discusses repressing painful memories of the camps; his reluctance to share his experiences, even with his children; antisemitism in Germany; visits to Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen; and his belief that Hitler won the war against the Jews.