Joseph K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3448) interviewed by Henri Borlant and Josette Zarka
- Paris, France : Témoignages pour mémoire, 1996
- Interview Date
- January 24, 1996.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Joseph K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3448). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Joseph K., who was born in Kharkiv, Russia (presently Ukraine) in 1920. He recounts his parents fleeing due to the revolution; their divorce when he was about three; living with his mother and her affluent family in Rīga; spending a summer in 1927 at his father's business in Kremintsi, then moving with him to Paris; studying textile engineering in Roubaix; spending summers in Rīga; not being able to return to Paris when war broke out in 1939; working in Soviet textile factories in Rīga, then Bolderāja; German invasion in July 1941; returning to Rīga; anti-Jewish violence; a German officer who was billeted with them protecting his family from round-ups; ghettoization; assistance from former domestics; a mass shooting in November 1941, including his mother and grandparents; arrival of Jews from western Europe; transfer to Kaiserwald, Stutthof, then Magdeburg in July 1944; slave labor in a munitions factory; escape during Allied bombings; French prisoners of war hiding and feeding him, then giving him documents of a dead French POW; liberation by United States troops; repatriation to Paris in May 1945; his uncle retrieving him from the Hotel Lutetia; learning his father had survived; their reunion; reclaiming their home in Epinay-sur-Seine; volunteering for the 1948 Arab-Israel War; marriage; his son's birth; serving in the Israeli Air Force until retiring in 1965; working in several European countries until returning to Paris in the 1970s; and earning his doctorate at the Sorbonne after his retirement. Mr. K. discusses his deep sense of humiliation during and after the Holocaust; forming his Jewish identity during the war; difficulties developing friendships due to his experiences; not sharing his experiences with his son; frustration at the perpetrators not being punished; and the uniqueness of every survivor experience.