Zvi N. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3344) interviewed by Levana Frank
Videotape testimony of Zvi N., who was born in 1924, and raised in Tyszowce, Poland, one of two children. He recounts his father's death when he was two; moving to his Hasidic grandfather's farm; attending cheder and a Polish school; German invasion; brief Soviet occupation; the German return; moving to Komarów; anti-Jewish restrictions; ghettoization; a German cutting off his grandfather's beard; forced labor; escaping with his sister and others to the forest; separation from the group (his sister remained); assistance from a Polish friend; locating a group of Jews, including his mother and uncle; finding his sister; joining partisans led by an escaped Soviet POW; a German attack in which his mother was killed; he and his sister feigning death; saving a wounded friend with help from a Pole; another German attack in which his sister was killed; finding Polish partisans; killing a policeman as a test to join them; fleeing from a German ambush (his uncle was captured, tortured, and killed); traveling with his uncle's widow to the Hrubieszów ghetto with assistance from a Pole; relatively benign conditions under the Jewish head, Dr. O. (HVT-943); escaping during the ghetto's liquidation; returning; deportation to Budzyń; slave labor with Soviet prisoners of war; digging an escape tunnel with others; transfer to Mielec in 1944; slave labor in an airplane factory; all the prisoners being sadistically tattooed with nails after an escape attempt; and transfer to Wieliczka, Flossenbürg, then Leitmeritz.
Mr. N. recalls starvation leading to a high death rate; slave labor carrying heavy pipes and extraction of an infected tooth, both resulting in permanent injuries; transfer to Theresienstadt; liberation by Soviet troops; reunion with a friend; beating German POWs; traveling with his friend and two women to Oradea via Prague, intending to emigrate to Palestine; assistance from the Joint; living in Red Cross housing; joining a kibbutz in the Judenberg displaced persons camp; moving en mass to Milan; living in a Cinecittà facility, then a villa in Rome; marriage; traveling with the Jewish Brigade to La Spezia; British soldiers preventing their departure; a hunger strike; Harold Laski, a British official, obtaining permission for them to emigrate to Palestine; his son's birth in 1946; joining the military, which became his career; participating in the 1948 Arab-Israel war; divorce; remarriage; resigning from the military in 1971; and re-enlisting during the Yom Kippur war. Mr. N. discusses many details of partisan and camp life, including the camps' hierarchies; attributing his survival to always working hard and prisoners assisting each other; conflict between his childhood faith and his experiences; Israeli disparagement of survivors prior to the Eichmann trial; testifying at a war crimes trial in Württemberg; not sharing his experiences with his children or grandchildren due to the pain of reliving them; and sharing his story for the first time in this testimony.
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
- Interview Date
- June 3, 1992.
Prague (Czech Republic)
La Spezia (Italy)
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Zvi N. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3344). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.