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Lev A. Holocaust testimony (HVT-805) interviewed by Mark Jacobs and Burton Einspruch

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-805

Videotape testimony of Lev A., who was born in Mönchengladbach, Germany in approximately 1910. He recounts his family moving to Jelgava (his father's hometown); evacuation by the Russians to Voronezh during World War I; cello lessons; his father's arrest during the Soviet Revolution; his return a year later; anti-Jewish violence; moving to Rīga; attending law school in Berlin; playing in a quartet; pursuing a career as a cellist in Paris; performing in many European cities; returning to Rīga in 1933; becoming the principal cellist with the Liepāja Philharmonic; Soviet occupation; German invasion; ghettoization with his family in Rīga; forced factory labor; his parents' disappearance (he never saw them again); transfer by boat to Stutthof via Gdańsk; slave labor hauling wood and loading coal; memorizing pieces of music; encountering his sister once (she did not survive); volunteering as a welder; transfer to a shipyard; the German foreman giving him extra food, despite the fact that he knew he was not a welder; an Italian POW teaching him to weld; brief hospitalization (his foreman sent medicine); a very brief transfer to Buchenwald, then back to the shipyard; transfer to Lauenburg; liberation by Soviet troops; incarceration for a year in a Soviet prison camp as a spy; escaping; living in a displaced persons camp; and emigration to the United States. Mr. A. notes writing songs in concentration and displaced persons camps; becoming numb to death helping him survive; and his postwar career as a cellist with the Dallas Symphony. He sings a song from Stutthof.

Author/Creator
A., Lev, 1910?-
Published
Dallas, Tex. : Memorial Center for Holocaust Studies, 1986
Interview Date
April 26, 1986.
Language
English
Copies
4 copies: 3/4 in. master; Betacam SP restoration master; Betacam SP restoration submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Lev A. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-805). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.