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Otto D. Holocaust testimony (HVT-278) interviewed by Doris Simon

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-278

Videotape testimony of Otto D., who was born in Vienna, Austria in 1922. He recalls his mother's death in 1927; his father's remarriage to a non-Jew who converted to Judaism; antisemitic harassment; German occupation in 1938; losing his job; working for one year as a non-Jew on a farm near Hannover; returning to Vienna, fearing exposure; working in a factory labor camp with his father; arrest in 1941; imprisonment for one year; learning his sisters were deported (he never saw them again); his deportation to Flossenbürg; slave labor; transfer to Auschwitz in October 1942; a privileged position in Canada Kommando; burying a dead baby found in luggage; public hangings; transfer to Warsaw in 1943 to clear the ghetto; friendship with a dentist, which continues to the present; a death march in 1944, then train transfer to Dachau; a supervisory position in a subcamp; sabotaging the construction; a civilian worker smuggling letters to his family in Vienna; receiving extra food from German civilian workers; train transport; liberation by United States troops; working for U.S. forces finding SS; attending the Dachau trials; briefly living in a displaced persons camp; marriage; his daughter's birth in 1946; smuggling Jews for illegal immigration to Palestine; emigration to the United States; and his son's birth in 1953. Mr. D. discusses relations between ethnic groups in camps; focusing on one day at a time; attributing his survival to luck; regret he did not kill war criminals when he could have; sharing his experiences, but not with his children; and perplexity that his brother and father remained in Vienna.

Author/Creator
D., Otto, 1922-
Published
Lawrence, N.Y. : Second Generation of Long Island, 1983
Interview Date
January 24, 1983.
Language
English
Copies
4 copies: 1/2 in. VHS master; Betacam SP restoration master; Betacam SP restoration submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Otto D. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-278). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.