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Jacob H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-486) interviewed by Sidney Elsner

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-486

Videotape testimony of Jacob H., who was born in Oświęcim, Poland in approximately 1924, one of five children. He recalls his family's orthodoxy; cordial relations with non-Jews; his mother's death a month prior to his bar mitzvah; German invasion; fleeing with his father by train to Kraków, then walking east; their return home; forced labor cleaning barracks, then at German police headquarters; two German soldiers offering him papers as a non-Jew; his father's refusal to prevent their separation; moving with his father to Chrzanów in early 1941 with assistance from a non-Jewish friend; deportation in his father's place to Wiesau; slave labor building roads, then as a bricklayer; transfer to Sakrau, another camp, then Klettendorf; assignment to a farm; obtaining extra food; transfer to Freiburg; a German worker leaving bread for him daily for six months; transfer to Waldenburg; obtaining extra food as a bricklayer; liberation by Soviet troops in May 1945; returning home briefly; reunion with a sister in Germany (his only surviving family); working for UNRRA; marriage; his son's birth; and emigration to the United States in 1949. Mr. H. discusses the role of the Judenrat in Oświęcim; remaining with one friend throughout his experiences; learning the farm where he worked was owned by Erhard Milch and corresponding with him; visiting Oświęcim in 1979; transferring his grandfather's gravestone to the United States; and attending survivor gatherings. He shows photographs.

Author/Creator
H., Jacob, 1924?-
Published
Cleveland, Ohio : National Council of Jewish Women, Holocaust Archive Project, 1984
Interview Date
August 29, 1984.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Jacob H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-486). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.