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Ernst M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3425) interviewed by Eva Lezzi and Sonja Miltenberger,

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3425

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    Overview

    Summary
    Videotape testimony of Ernst M., who was born in Troppau (Opava, Czechoslovakia), Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1918. He recounts the transition to Czechoslovakia; his family's move to Prague; his father's position as a health minister (he was a physician); attending medical school; German occupation in March 1939; arrest with his parents in 1941; their imprisonment in Prague; deportation to Theresienstadt; slave labor in construction; confinement with his parents to the small fortress, a punishment area, in May 1943; their transfer to Auschwitz in late July; quarantine; assignment to hauling excrement and dead bodies; a prisoner from Troppau arranging for a better assignment in the Birkenau roofing commando; frequent meetings with his mother and a cousin; the man from Troppau getting his father a better assignment; friends shielding him from selection when he was ill; working at the ramp and in Canada Kommando; the trauma of seeing his mother led to the crematorium in February 1944; Franz Wunsch, an Austrian guard saving his life more than once (he testified on his behalf at a 1972 trial in Vienna); his father's selection in October; the Sonderkommando uprising; the death march in January 1945; train transport to Lesslau, Stettin, then Ebensee; liberation; and placement in a tuberculosis sanitorium.

    Mr. M. recalls studying with Victor Frankl, who helped him enormously; doing research in Greece; working for a pharmaceutical firm in Frankfurt; many hospitalizations; a nervous breakdown; his marriage between 1977 and 1982; imprisonment and prosecution for non-payment of his medical bills; and assistance by the Protestant church and some individuals in proving his case. He discusses many incidents in camp; German women prisoners who had been prostitutes consistently helping others; the pain of his parents' deaths (he still cannot talk about it); and the loss of twenty-eight relatives and seventy-five close friends in concentration camps. He shows documents.
    Author/Creator
    M., Ernst, 1918-
    Published
    Potsdam, Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien, Universität Potsdam, 1996
    Interview Date
    April 21, 1996.
    Locale
    Austria
    Opava (Czech Republic)
    Prague (Czech Republic)
    Vienna (Austria)
    Greece
    Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
    Cite As
    Ernst M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3425). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
    Other Authors/Editors
    Lezzi, Eva, interviewer.
    Miltenberger, Sonja, interviewer.
    Notes
    This testimony is in German.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Copies
    2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
    Physical Description
    1 videorecording (2 hr., 10 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Postwar experiences.
    Postwar effects.
    Concentration camps Revolts.
    Mutual aid.

    Administrative Notes

    Link to Yale University Library Catalog:
    http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4291673
    Record last modified:
    2018-05-29 11:47:00
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/hvt4291673

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