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Isidore R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3452) interviewed by Henri Borlant and Josette Zarka

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3452

Videotape testimony of Isidore R., who was born in Paris, France in approximately 1923. He recalls feeling French, not Jewish; German invasion; his father's arrest in August 1941; smuggling back and forth to the unoccupied zone; obtaining false papers; unsuccessfully trying to see friends who were rounded-up into the Vélodrome d'Hiver; being caught smuggling in Digoin in summer 1942; eight days imprisonment; transfer to Pithiviers, Beaune-la-Rolande, and Drancy; deportation to Auschwitz; a month quarantine; seeing his father; his suicide the next day (he never discussed this before); volunteering as a mason, an easier assignment; being showered in cold water, left outside naked, and beaten for hours on Christmas Eve 1942 (he still has nightmares about this); transfer to Zgoda (Świętochłowice); a beating for not making other prisoners work; sabotaging work in a munitions factory; transfer to Birkenau when he had typhus; assignment to Canada Kommando which saved his life; a prisoner revolt in the crematorium; transfer to another camp; a death march in January 1945; transport to Sachsenhausen, then Bergen-Belsen; moving corpses for days; liberation by British troops; and return to Paris (Hotel Lutetia). Mr. R. discuss group relations and his state of mind in the camps and the importance of teaching about the Holocaust.

Author/Creator
R., Isidore, 1923?-
Published
Paris, France : Témoignages pour mémoire, 1996
Interview Date
January 26, 1996.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Isidore R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3452). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.