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Iaakov W. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3249) interviewed by Tamar Shushan and Uri Lapidot

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3249

Videotape testimony of Iaakov W., who was born in Kraków, Poland in 1926, the oldest of three brothers. He recounts his family's orthodoxy; attending a Jewish school; his bar mitzvah; German invasion; being caught in random round-ups for forced labor; his family's move to his grandfather's farm in Proszowice; anti-Jewish laws resulting in his grandfather giving the farm to one of his Polish employees; working in a sugar refinery; his father paying a non-Jew to hide his youngest brother; his brother's arrival before their deportation to Prokocim; escaping with his father; entering the Kraków ghetto; slave labor building Płaszów; digging pits for mass shootings; public hangings; transfer to another camp for six months, then to Oskar Schindler's factory; separation from his father; deportation to Mauthausen; assignment to the quarry; transfer to Gusen twelve days later; slave labor in a Messerschmitt factory; public hangings; prisoners freezing to death during a roll call; a German guard giving him food; transfer back to Mauthausen; a death march to Gelsenkirchen; lying on a pile of corpses; liberation by United States troops; many deaths from overeating; acts of revenges, particularly by Soviets; breaking into homes as his revenge; learning his father had not survived; transfer to a displaced persons camp; traveling to Bari with the Jewish Brigade; illegal emigration to Palestine by boat; interdiction by the British; and incarceration on Cyprus. Mr. W. discusses relations between ethnic groups of prisoners and witnessing cannibalism.

Author/Creator
W., Iaakov, 1926-
Published
Ramat Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1991
Interview Date
November 6, 1991.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Iaakov W. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3249). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.