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Jiri R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1510) interviewed by Beatrice Harrison and Rivie Zeiler

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1510

Videotape testimony of Jiri R., who was born in S̆tĕnovice, Czechoslovakia in 1927. He recalls being the only Jewish boy in town; cordial relations with non-Jews; German annexation in March 1939; expulsion from school, being shunned by friends, and confiscation of the family business; orders to report to Plzeň in January 1942; deportation to Theresienstadt; working in the carpentry shop; his father working in the police and his mother in the police kitchen; constant hunger; sham improvements during a Red Cross visit; deportation with his father to Auschwitz in September 1944; separation upon arrival; volunteering for carpentry work; transfer to Gleiwitz; slave labor twelve hours daily repairing train cars; a death march to Blechhammer; disappearance of the guards; arrival of the French Red Cross, then Soviet troops; draft into the Soviet army; discharge in May 1945; returning home; working as a carpenter and attending school; Czech military service; marriage; his daughter's birth; a family vacation to Italy in 1968; deciding not to return after the Soviet takeover; and emigration to the United States. Mr. R. notes being the sole survivor of his parents' extended families (fourteen siblings) and never having previously shared his story.

Author/Creator
R., Jiri, 1927-
Published
Mahwah, N.J. : Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 1990
Interview Date
April 25, 1990.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Jiri R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1510). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.