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Menachem O. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3340) interviewed by Anita Tarsi

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3340

Videotape testimony of Menachem O., who was born in Dębica, Poland in 1922, an only child. He recounts attending public school and cheder; antisemitic harrassment; participating in a religious Zionist youth group; his father's business exporting eggs; German invasion in September 1939; anti-Jewish restrictions; attending a clandestine yeshiva; his father's emergency surgery arranged through non-Jewish contacts; separation from his parents after a round-up (he never saw them again); deportation to Rzesźow; severe depression due to separation from his parents; after six weeks deciding to do everything to survive; slave labor in an airplane factory; receiving a note smuggled from his father; praying with others, using his tefillin; observing Jewish holidays, including fasting on Yom Kippur; receiving extra food from a Polish civilian worker; transfer to Płaszów in 1944; camp Kommandant Amon Goeth randomly shooting Jews; transfer to Wieliczka, then Flossenbürg; slave labor in a quarry; transfer a month later to Colmar, then to Oranieburg, Braunschweig, where he was hospitalized for a week, Neuengamme, Bremen, then Bergen-Belsen in spring 1945; being assigned to carry corpses to open pits; liberation by British troops; transfer to Helsingborg with the Swedish Red Cross; living in several locations including Rättvik, where he met his future wife; organizing kibbutz living in Huskvarna; illegal emigration to Palestine by ship; interdiction by the British; incarceration in Cyprus; arrival in Palestine in 1947; working as a teacher; marriage; his son's birth; and testifying at a war crimes trial in Germany in 1969. Mr. O. discusses retaining his faith and orthodoxy despite his experiences; the importance of friends to his survival; purchasing his home with funds his father had transferred to England; and traveling with young Israelis to Poland.

O., Menachem, 1922-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
Interview Date
May 4, June 10, June 18, October 4, 1992.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Menachem O. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3340). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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Record last modified: 2015-07-30 15:52:00
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