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Fred F. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1717) interviewed by Toby Blum-Dobkin and Fay Schreibman

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1717

Videotape testimony of Fred F., who was born in 1915 to an assimilated Jewish-American family. He recalls being drafted into the United States military; serving in the China-India-Burma theatre as a journalist; assignment to the ETO to report on Europe to U.S. troops in Asia; and entering Mauthausen shortly after its liberation. Mr. F. discusses lack of preparation for what they encountered; the stench; keeping a "stiff upper lip" for the sake of the surviving prisoners; the unique sound (because of their extreme emaciation) of the prisoners clapping for the Americans; shaking hands with a prisoner who learned he was Jewish; his hostility toward a local farmer who denied knowledge of the camp; and returning to Asia to report on these events (the best writing he ever did). Mr. F. reads the letter he wrote home describing Mauthausen, which he now reads to his family every Passover. He discusses the importance of remembering this experience; finding his own Jewish identity through his encounter with Jewish prisoners in Mauthausen; animosity toward Germans and Austrians who denied knowledge of what happened in their midst; a subsequent trip to Mauthausen with his wife; and the impact of meeting the David Ben-Gurions when reporting in Israel.

Author/Creator
F., Fred, 1915-
Published
New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1990
Interview Date
November 20, 1990.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Fred F. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1717). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.