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Shimon S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3326) interviewed by Yoram Amit and Anita Tarsi,

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3326

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    Videotape testimony of Shimon S., who was born in 1930 in Łódź, Poland. He recounts ghettoization; his father's fatal shooting; pervasive hunger; stealing food and coal with an organized group of children; deportation to Chelmno; observing Kommandant Hans Bothmann randomly murder Jews for "entertainment"; his assignment with Walther Burmeister to remove gold teeth and valuables from corpses after gassings; finding his mother's purse among the valuables; a visit by Hans Biebow; Burmeister protecting him from selections; a mass execution in retaliation for an escape; taking and sharing food with fellow prisoners; dismantling and destroying the crematorium; execution of the prisoner workers; pretending to be dead after he was shot in the neck; observing a spontaneous revolt of the remaining prisoners (two Germans were killed, including Willi Lenz); escaping; assistance from a Polish farmer; liberation by Soviet troops; hospitalization; returning home (no one survived); joining a kibbutz; emigration to Israel via Italy; serving in the Israeli army; testifying at several war crimes trials, including those of Alois Häfele, Walther Burmeister, Gustav Laabs, Hans Bothmann, and Günter Fuchs; testifying on behalf of Walther Burmeister, at the behest of Gideon Hausner at Eichmann's trial in 1961 (his testimony followed Ka-tzetnik's); and participation in Claude Lanzmann's documentary "Shoah." Mr. S. describes Chelmno's operation in detail; singing there; psychologically adapting to witnessing thousands of murders; his will to survive; frequent depression and nightmares; coping with his wife's support; his wish to transfer the remains of those killed in the final revolt to Israel; and the difficulty of recounting his past in this testimony.
    S., Shimon, 1930-2006.
    Ramat Aviv, Israel : Beth Hatefutsoth, Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, 1991
    Interview Date
    June 7, 1991.
    Łódź (Poland)
    Cite As
    Shimon S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3326). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
    Other Authors/Editors
    Amit, Yoram, interviewer.
    Tarsi, Anita, interviewer.
    This testimony is in Hebrew.
    Related publication: Shoah [videorecording] / a New Yorker Films release ; a co-production by Les Films Aleph and Histora Films with the assistance of the French Ministry of Culture ; a film by Claude Lanzmann. Hollywood, CA : New Yorker Video, c2003
    Related publication: Shoah : an oral history of the Holocaust : the complete text of the film / Claude Lanzmann ; preface by Simone de Beauvoir ; . -- 1st American ed. -- New York : Pantheon Books, c1985.

    Physical Details

    2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
    Physical Description
    1 videorecording (4 hr., 47 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Child survivors.
    Mass killings.
    Aid by non-Jews.
    Mutual aid.
    Postwar experiences.
    Postwar effects.
    Shoah (Motion picture) Holocaust survivors. Video tapes. Men. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Jewish. World War, 1939-1945--Children. Jewish children in the Holocaust. Jewish ghettos. Jews--Poland--Łódź. Jewish councils. Forced labor. Sabotage. World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities. Concentration camps--Psychological aspects. Escapes. Nightmares. War crime trials--Jerusalem. War crime trials--Poland. War crime trials--Germany. Poland. Łódź (Poland) Italy. Oral histories (document genres) S., Shimon,--1930-2006. Lanzmann, Claude. Burmeister, Walther. Laabs, Gustav. Bothmann, Hans. Biebow, Hans,--1902-1947. Lenz, Willi. Häfele, Alois. Fuchs, Günter. Eichmann, Adolf,--1906-1962--Trials, litigation, etc. Hausner, Gideon,--1915-1990. Ka-tzetnik 135633,--1917-2001. Chelmno (Concentration camp)

    Administrative Notes

    Link to Yale University Library Catalog:
    Record last modified:
    2018-06-04 13:28:00
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