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Charles N. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3444) interviewed by Josette Zarka and Henri Borlant

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3444

Videotape testimony of Charles N., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1924 . He recounts his family's emigration to Paris in about 1927; attending public school; training as a dental technician; fleeing with two brothers to Vazerac when Germany invaded; returning to Paris; working at farms in the country-side to hide; returning to Paris; his oldest brother's death from illness in 1941; being warned of the Vélodrome d'hiver round-up in July 1942; his mother arranging for a non-Jew to take him and his brother south; traveling by train to Bourges; arrest; imprisonment as non-Jews; transfer to the Jewish section when their identities were exposed; transfer to a prison in Orléans, to Pithiviers, then Beaune-la-Roland; escape and capture en route to Drancy; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau; slave labor demolishing houses in the nearby town, then in a D.A.W. factory; selection for a privileged position in the Canada Kommando; separation from his brother; trading goods he found for extra food to share with other prisoners; separating mothers and children upon their arrival to try to save the mothers; learning his brother was still alive; their reunion; a death march in January 1945; a prisoner lancing his infection with a knife and fork when he could not continue; remaining with his brother; arrival at Gross-Rosen; train transport to Flossenbürg, then Ganacker; slave labor constructing runways; transfer to Trostberg; working in a B.M.W. factory making aircraft engines; abandonment by the guards; leaving with his brother and a friend; SS shooting them (his brother was killed); liberation by Soviet and United States troops; returning to Paris; finding three sisters and one brother had survived; recuperating until 1948; and marriage in 1950. Ms. N. discusses the prisoner hierarchy and attributes his survival to luck and his desire to live.

Author/Creator
N., Charles, 1924-
Published
Paris, France : Témoignages pour mémoire, 1994
Interview Date
January 26, 1996.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Charles N. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3444). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.