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Anna and Joel K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2275) interviewed by Samuel Kenner

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2275

Videotape testimony of Anna K., who was born in Hajdúnánás, Hungary in 1930 and her husband Joel K., who was born in Megyaszó in 1923. Ms. K. recounts her family's move to Debrecen; attending a Jewish day school; cordial relations with non-Jews; her family's orthodoxy and strong Hungarian identity; German invasion; anti-Jewish restrictions, including wearing the yellow star; ghettoization; suicides and deaths from hunger; deportation with her family to Strasshof; slave labor for local farmers; local farmers bringing them food; transfer to Bergen-Belsen; her bat mitzvah; once seeing a cousin in another section and learning of his death shortly thereafter; her mother's encouragement when she lost her will to live; transfer with her family on April 10; and liberation from the train by United States troops.
Mr. K. recalls living in Kerepestarcsa, then Újpest (IV. Kerület); persecution by a priest in school; transfer to a Jewish school; studying to be a rabbi in seminary; participating in Mizrachi; German invasion; anti-Jewish measures, including wearing the star; the Judenrat instructing them to conform; draft into a Hungarian slave labor battalion (he was previously exempted as a rabbinical student); his Hungarian group leader working hard to save them; slave labor in several locations including Miskolc and Budapest; seeing his father once; an Allied bombing; transfer to Fertőrákos; asking to be killed during a forced march; stealing clothing; escaping with a group; traveling to Vienna; returning to Budapest in April 1945; immediately re-entering university; reunion with his brother and father (his mother did not survive); serving as a rabbi in Győr; marriage; the births of two sons; participating in the 1956 uprising; organizing emigration for 400 children and the escapes of many others; his wife and son escaping; and his own escape after he was sentenced to death. Mr. K. discusses flashbacks and nightmares after his first grandchild was born. He shows a book and documents.

Author/Creator
K., Anna, 1930-
Published
Peabody, Mass. : Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of the North Shore, 1992
Interview Date
June 26, 1992.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Anna and Joel K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2275). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.