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Leon Z. Holocaust testimony (HVT-725) interviewed by Dori Laub and Diane Fagelman

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-725

Videotape testimony of Leon Z., who was born in Sierpc, Poland in 1924, the oldest of three children. He recounts a close family life; his bar mitzvah; antisemitic harassment; German invasion in 1939; deportation with his family; stopping in Modlin where non-Jewish friends hid them; their return to Sierpc; forced labor; deportation to the Strzegowo ghetto; working on a farm; deportation with his family to Mława, then Birkenau; separation from his mother, sister, and grandparents (they were killed); his father's and uncle's selection for the Sonderkommando; remaining with his brother and cousin; meeting his father and uncle at a fence; receiving food from them; on his father's advice, bringing his brother to the hospital; transfer to a brick layer's school in Auschwitz in winter 1943; his cousin's and friend's castrations in a “hospital”; learning his brother, father, and uncle had been killed; torture after helping the Polish underground; a death march in January 1945; escape; hiding in a forest; assistance from Polish villagers; liberation by Soviet troops; joining the police (no one knew he was Jewish); arresting Nazis; beating German prisoners en route to Sosnowiec; traveling to Katowice; reunion with his cousin; imprisonment as a Nazi spy; release; traveling to Wrocław, then to the Frankfurt displaced persons camp; returning to Sierpc searching for family (he found no one); threats from Poles; traveling to Łódź, then back to Germany; emigration to join relatives in the United States; and marriage. Mr. Z. discusses not losing hope of surviving in camp; difficulties sharing his experiences with his children; and pervasive painful memories. He shows photographs.

Author/Creator
Z., Leon, 1924-
Published
Dallas, Tex. : Memorial Center for Holocaust Studies, 1986
Interview Date
January 19, 1986.
Language
English
Copies
4 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; Betacam SP restoration submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Leon Z. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-725). 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/4294213
Record last modified: 2011-05-05 11:40:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4294213