Leon R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2125) interviewed by David Herman
- London, England : British Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
- Interview Date
- January 27, 1993.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Leon R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2125). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Leon R., who was born in Ostrowiec, Poland in 1927, one of four children. He recalls his family's orthodoxy; attending public school and cheder; antisemitic harassment; German invasion; anti-Jewish restrictions; transfer with his father and brother to a labor camp; escaping; learning his mother and sisters were deported; a non-Jewish neighbor offering help; rejoining his father and brother; transfer to Bliżyn; public hangings; his brother's transfer; his father giving him his bread ration, telling him it was extra; his father's death; hardening himself; stealing food; frequent beatings; transfer to Birkenau; observing arriving transports and the crematoria smoke; a one-time, brief assignment to the crematoria area; hearing the explosion of the Sonderkommando revolt; a death march and train transfer to Buchenwald, then Theresienstadt; becoming ill; awakening after liberation by Soviet troops; a doctor wanting to adopt him; declining to shoot Germans; briefly returning to Ostrowiec; being brought to a group home in Windermere; learning his brother was alive; hearing from an uncle in Brazil; his brother going there; living in Glasgow; receiving emigration papers from his uncle; the Brazilian embassy in London refusing his emigration; meeting his future wife; marriage; and raising two sons. Mr. R. discusses visits to Brazil; a recent trip to Poland; and pervasive painful memories. He shows photographs.