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Karol P. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3451) interviewed by Henri Borlant and Berthe Burko-Falcman

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3451

Videotape testimony of Karol P., who was born in Będzin, Poland in 1931, one of seven children. He recalls summers with his paternal grandparents in Wodzisław; antisemitic harassment in public school; German invasion in 1939; round-up with his family; escaping with his sister; her deportation (none of his family survived); imprisonment; escape with assistance from a Polish inmate; entering the ghetto in 1943; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau; escaping the group selected for death; a privileged assignment as a messenger; receiving a tailored uniform; assignment to the privileged prisoners' barrack; assisting his uncle; punishment for refusing to beat prisoners; assistance from Desire H. when he was ill; receiving extra food from Simon G.; Jack K. saving many prisoners from death through his office position; a death march; incarceration in other camps including Mauthausen; liberation from Melk by United States troops in May 1945; helping kill an SS soldier; U.S. soldiers caring for him and providing a military uniform; abandonment in France by a U.S. soldier who had promised to adopt him; living in an OSE orphanage; placement with a couple in Paris who wanted to adopt him; refusing adoption in order to continue his family name; attending school; military service in Algeria; marriage; and establishing a business. Mr. P. discusses emotional issues and nightmares resulting from his experiences; willing himself to forget and not discussing his experiences until now; the importance of his will to live and precocity to his survival; losing his belief in God in the camps; and continuing contact with the uncle he helped in Birkenau.

Author/Creator
P., Karol, 1931-
Published
Paris, France : Témoignages pour mémoire, 1996
Interview Date
January 23, 1996.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Karol P. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3451). 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/4291737
Record last modified: 2011-05-05 11:39:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4291737