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Joseph K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3448) interviewed by Henri Borlant and Josette Zarka

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3448

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.

Author/Creator
K., Joseph, 1920-
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
Joseph K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3448). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4291731
Record last modified: 2011-05-05 11:39:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4291731