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