Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research

Login

Register

Help

Skip to main content

Louis B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1589) interviewed by Toby Blum-Dobkin and Jud Newborn

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1589

Videotape testimony of Louis B., who was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1911. He recalls his family's poverty; receiving scholarships for violin training; graduating from music school; playing in a café in Katendrecht; a highly-paid orchestra job; purchasing a trumpet; teaching himself to play; employment in a nightclub; playing with Louis Armstrong; joining the underground in 1942; hiding under false papers in Made en Drimmelen; arrest; not divulging names under torture; transfer to Westerbork, then Birkenau; being recognized by a Dutch prisoner who told him to volunteer as a musician; auditioning for the orchestra; assignment as trumpet soloist; expulsion from the orchestra by a jealous kapo; slave labor for a few days; an SS recognizing him and appointing him conductor; also leading the Romani orchestra; receiving extra food from non-Jewish prisoners; the orchestra's responsibility for emptying human waste; saving his brother with assistance from other prisoners; transfer to Sachsenhausen in fall 1944, then Buchenwald and Ohrdruf; train evacuation; liberation near Prague in May 1945; living in Bamberg displaced persons camp; and working for a United States agency tracking Nazi war criminals. Mr. B. notes returning to Holland; working as a musician; living in Canada and the United States; and attributing his survival to his music.

Author/Creator
B., Louis, 1911-2002.
Published
New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1989
Interview Date
September 25, 1989.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Louis B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1589). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.