Leo L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-729) interviewed by Ann Gadol and Debbie Weinberg
- Dallas, Tex. : Memorial Center for Holocaust Studies, 1985
- Interview Date
- October 27, 1985.
- 4 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; Betacam SP restoration submaster;; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Leo L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-729). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Leo L., who was born in 1924 in Łódź, Poland, one of eight children. He recounts his family's Hasidism and extreme poverty; antisemitic harassment; work from age fourteen; cutting his payis (sidecurls) and buying non-Hasidic clothing; his older brother's death in 1938; German invasion; ghettoization; smuggling food with assistance from a non-Jew; denouncement in October 1940; arrest, interrogation, and severe beating; hospitalization; release three weeks later; returning to smuggling; deportation to Poznań; pervasive deaths resulting from filth and cold; a prisoner strike, demanding a doctor; slave labor in several sub-camps on railroads, highways, and in an airplane factory; public torture and execution of two captured escapees; transfer to Auschwitz/Birkenau in 1943; his sense he went from “hell to heaven,” because he was showered and received clean clothing; liquidation of the Zigeunerlager (Gypsy Lager); reunion with his half-brother (he did not survive); learning his family had been deported (they were all killed); transfer to Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, and Ohrdurf; liberation by United States troops in April 1945; working for an Army captain; obtaining a visa in Frankfurt in 1948; and emigration to the United States. Mr. L. discusses attributing his survival to his desire to know about his family; visiting his home, camps, and his brother's grave in Poland in 1983; and difficulties non-survivors have understanding or believing his wartime experiences.