Karol P. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3451) interviewed by Henri Borlant and Berthe Burko-Falcman
- Paris, France : Témoignages pour mémoire, 1996
- Interview Date
- January 23, 1996.
- 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.
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.