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Paul P. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1454) interviewed by Michael Alpert

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1454

Videotape testimony of Paul P., a twin, who was born in Mikulov, Czechoslovakia in 1925. He recounts attending German and Czech schools; antisemitic harassment; involvement in Zionist youth groups; moving to Brno after German occupation; his mother "forcing" his father's illegal emigration to Palestine in 1939; his departure for England and his mother and sister leaving for Yugoslavia on August 31, 1939; their return to Prague due to the outbreak of war; forced labor in coal mines; hospitalization; refusing a nun's offer to hide him; returning to Brno; deportation with his mother and sister to Theresienstadt; participating in cultural events and the youth movement led by Fredy Hirsch; sham improvements for a Red Cross visit; sharing extra food with his mother; sabotaging work; marriage; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau in fall 1944; being too stunned to be afraid; learning his mother had been killed; sharing memories of literature and food; transfer to Gleiwitz; the cruelty of Kommandant Otto Moll; sabotaging their work repairing railroad cars; friends helping him during a brief sight loss; a death march to Blechhammer in January 1945; liberation by Soviet troops; enlisting in the Soviet military; and discharge shortly thereafter.
Mr. P. tells of traveling to Uz︠h︡horod, Košice, and Budapest; reunion with his twin sister in Prague (she was debilitated and never recovered); moving to Brno, then Mikulov; recovering family property; reunion with his wife; her suicide attempt; his father's return; moving to Belgium and France with Hashomer Hatzair; boarding an illegal boat to Palestine in April 1947; interception by the British; incarceration on Cyprus; entering Israel a year later; service during the 1948 war; separation from his wife; and moving to Germany, then the United States. He discusses daily life, inter-group relations, his state of mind, and songs in the camps; wanting to take revenge, but not doing so; and believing his survival was due to luck and random circumstances, and that there is no meaning in or lessons to be learned from the Holocaust. He shows photographs.

Author/Creator
P., Paul, 1925-1992.
Published
New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1990
Interview Date
September 11, 1990.
Locale
Brno (Czech Republic)
Czechoslovakia
Mikulov (Jihomoravský kraj, Czech Republic)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Uz︠h︡horod (Ukraine)
Košice (Slovakia)
Budapest (Hungary)
Palestine
Belgium
France
Cyprus
Israel
Germany
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Paul P. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1454). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
 
View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4295315
Record last modified: 2018-05-29 11:58:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4295315