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Leo L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-729) interviewed by Ann Gadol and Debbie Weinberg

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-729

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.

Author/Creator
L., Leo, 1924-2007.
Published
Dallas, Tex. : Memorial Center for Holocaust Studies, 1985
Interview Date
October 27, 1985.
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
Leo L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-729). 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/4294227
Record last modified: 2016-03-28 11:20:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4294227