Fredrich H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3252) interviewed by Nathan Beyrak and Ilana Shtauber
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1991
- Interview Date
- July 2, 1991.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Fredrich H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3252). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Fredrich H., who was born in Vienna, Austria in 1919. He recalls participating in a socialist youth group; his sister's marriage to a non-Jew; pervasive antisemitism; the Anschluss; a futile attempt to smuggle himself to Czechoslovakia; obtaining a visa for Luxembourg; being refused entry; brief imprisonment in Germany; release on the condition he leave Germany; smuggling himself to Luxembourg; his parents joining him; moving to Brussels with his parents, sister, and her husband; arranging emigration to the Dominican Republic; German invasion preventing their departure; incarceration with his family in France; his mother's and sister's release; his escape to join his mother in Toulouse (his sister and her husband returned to Belgium); capture and return to the camp; transfer with his father to Recebedou; improved conditions; working in Montauban; a failed escape attempt to Spain; exposure as a Jew when enlisting in the French military in Marseille in July 1942; deportation to Drancy, then Gogolin; slave labor in a factory; friendship with another Viennese prisoner; transfer to Blechhammer in October 1942; Karl Demerer, the highest ranking Jewish prisoner, easing conditions and saving many prisoners; slave labor in a factory; suffering from cold and hunger; prisoners sharing money and food; public hangings; assistance from British prisoners of war; hospitalization; Allied bombings; a death march to Gross-Rosen in January1945; train transfer to Buchenwald, Flossenbürg, then Mauthausen (his friend died en route); liberation by United States troops; assistance from the Red Cross; hospitalization in Switzerland and Paris; reunion with his mother and sister in Brussels in 1946 (his father was killed in Auschwitz); emigration to Israel; his mother joining him; marriage to an Israeli; and not sharing his experiences with his daughters. Mr. H. discusses prisoner hierarchies in the camps; the importance of help from prisoners and guards; losing belief in organized Judaism based on the behavior of rabbis in the camps; not losing hope that he would survive; and attributing his survival to luck.