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Jacques B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3440) interviewed by Henri Borlant and Berthe Burko

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3440

Videotape testimony of Jacques B., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1923. He recounts his family's emigration to Paris in 1924; their poverty; membership in sports clubs; leaving school for an apprenticeship at age twelve; German invasion; antisemitic measures; arrest with his brother in 1942; Gestapo interrogation; incarceration in Romainville; their transfer to Compiégne and Drancy; deportation in February 1943 to Birkenau; transfer to Auschwitz; return to Birkenau; separation from his brother; learning his brother was in the Zigeunerlager (Gypsy Lager); assignment as a chimneysweep, which provided access to many areas; arranging extra food for his brother; disappearance of the Romanies (he never saw his brother again); learning his father had been selected for death; encouraging a woman friend who later died; prisoners being burned alive in pits; contracting typhus; escaping selection in the infirmary; working in the Canada Kommando; transfer to Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg, and Ohrdruf; installing gallows; undressing corpses of the executed; a death march to Buchenwald; liberation by United States troops; and return to Paris. Mr. B. discusses his anguish over the cruelty of some prisoners; the contradiction between German culture and barbarism; difficulty believing what he saw in camp; and his belief that he would not survive.

Author/Creator
B., Jacques, 1923-
Published
Paris, France : Témoignages pour mémoire, 1996
Interview Date
January 24, 1996.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Jacques B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3440). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.