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Jack K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3257) interviewed by Sara Iwanir and Nathan Beyrak

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3257

Videotape testimony of Jack K., who was born in Poland in 1920, the oldest of three brothers. He recounts his family moving to Trier in 1925; attending school; antisemitism beginning in 1932; moving to Barcelona, then Palma de Mallorca; moving to Marseille, then Paris in 1936 due to the Spanish Civil War; participating in Betar; organizing illegal emigration to Palestine; German invasion; anti-Jewish restrictions; deportation with his father and brothers to Pithiviers in May 1941; his mother's visit; transfer to Auschwitz/Birkenau in June 1942; obtaining a privileged office position because he spoke German and typed; public hangings; Simon G., a friend who worked in the kitchen, giving him extra food; hospitalization for typhus; obtaining poison from Desire H., a prisoner doctor, to commit suicide when he thought he was to be castrated (he was not); contact with the camp underground; substituting the names of dead prisoners on selection lists; his brothers' arrival; his younger brother's death; transfer with his other brother to Sachsenhausen in October 1944; slave labor in a Heinkel factory; Allied bombings; a death march to Kaufering; slave labor building an airplane hangar; re-assignment to office work by an Auschwitz official who recognized him; liberation by United States troops; repatriation to Hotel Lutetia in Paris; reunion with his parents, who had been hidden by non-Jews; testifying in war crime trials in Germany and Rudolf Höss' trial in Warsaw; marriage to a woman who had been in hiding; his parents' emigration to Israel in 1952; his daughter's birth; and joining his parents in 1955. Mr. K. discusses the hierarchy in camps; sadistic killings; prisoners saving each other many times, including him and his brother; emotional difficulties due to his experiences; the pain of relating his story; and not sharing it with his wife and daughter.

Author/Creator
K., Jack, 1920-
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1991
Interview Date
March 9, 1991.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Jack K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3257). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4297308
Record last modified: 2012-10-08 15:20:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4297308