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Randolph J. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2138) interviewed by Elliot Perry and Jane Barclay

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2138

Videotape testimony of Randolph J., who was born in Berlin, Germany in 1913. He recalls his family's affluence; strong patriotism and food shortages during World War I; being taught Germany had won; his bar mitzvah; attending public school and gymnasium; cordial relations with non-Jews; gradual impoverishment as antisemitism increased in the 1930s; one sister's emigration to the United States; meeting his future wife; attending university in 1931; violent harassment; believing Hitler was a temporary phenomenon; traveling to Zurich in 1933 to continue his education, then to Paris via Geneva, Lyon, and Dijon; support from the Joint; reunion with his future wife; attending his mother's funeral in 1934; encountering Jews who still believed it was safe in Germany; earning a degree in economics; working as a journalist; applying for French citizenship in 1938; war's outbreak in 1939; forced relocation as an enemy alien; volunteering for the French military; serving in Orleans and Brittany; German invasion; smuggling to the unoccupied zone with a friend; and assistance from French farmers.
Mr. J. recounts demobilization; reunion with his wife in Toulouse; moving to Mane; French non-Jews hiding them; support from the World Jewish Congress; living under benign Italian occupation in Marseille; returning to Mane when it became dangerous; illegally entering Spain in December 1942; briefly staying in Sort; incarceration in Lérida, Zaragoza, and Miranda de Ebro; release because he declared himself British; joining his wife in Madrid; obtaining exit visas; his wife's departure to join her parents in England; British assistance traveling to Lisbon, then Poole; reunion with his wife in Oxford; enlisting in the British military; serving as an interpreter in Berlin and Szczecin in 1946; and discharge. Mr. J. discusses shock that Jews were vouching for Nazis at war crime trials; his career in journalism, earning a PhD at age seventy-five; and his wife's autobiographical book.

J., Randolph, 1913-
London, England : British Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992 and 1993
Interview Date
June 4, 1992 and October 14, 1993.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Randolph J. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2138). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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Record last modified: 2016-03-28 10:33:00
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