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Zvi N. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3344) interviewed by Levana Frank

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3344

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.

Author/Creator
N., Zvi, 1924-
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
Interview Date
June 3, 1992.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
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.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4297452
Record last modified: 2015-09-08 15:49:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4297452