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Jakob Z. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1837) interviewed by Gidʻon Graif and Raphael Rozner,

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1837

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    Videotape testimony of Jakob Z., who was born in Sochaczew, Poland in 1918. He recalls his family's orthodoxy; German invasion; the family move to Warsaw; ghettoization; their move to Płońsk; his father being taken away; deportation with his family to Birkenau in December 1942; separation upon arrival (he never saw them again); slave labor; contact with the camp underground; reassignment to the Sonderkommando; moving corpses from the gas chamber to the crematoria; wanting to commit suicide the first night; a rabbi dissuading him; becoming accustomed to horrendous work; burning corpses in open pits when the crematoria reached capacity; losing his faith in God; adequate food (they took it from the clothing of the dead); the failed uprising; having to incinerate his friends after they were executed; the death march in January 1945; escaping the next day; living in France after the war; and emigration to Israel in 1951. Mr. Z. discusses how nudity removed the will to resist before the Jews were gassed; close relations within the Sonderkommando; atrocities committed by Otto Moll; his forty-year silence after the war (he felt ashamed and guilty); and recently reassessing his role, losing his shame, and discussing his experiences with his family. He illustrates the extermination process using photographs.
    Z., Jakob, 1918-
    Ramat Aviv, Israel : Beth Hatefutsoth, Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, 1988
    Interview Date
    June 30, 1988.
    Sochaczew (Poland)
    Warsaw (Poland)
    Płońsk (Poland)
    Cite As
    Jakob Z. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1837). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
    Other Authors/Editors
    Graif, Gidʻon, interviewer.
    Rozner, Raphael, interviewer.
    This testimony is in Hebrew.

    Physical Details

    2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
    Physical Description
    1 videorecording (1 hr., 28 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Postwar experiences.
    Concentration camps Revolts.
    Postwar effects.
    Mutual aid.
    Concentration camps Underground movements.

    Administrative Notes

    Link to Yale University Library Catalog:
    Record last modified:
    2018-05-30 11:33:00
    This page:

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