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Joseph H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3368)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3368

Videotape testimony of Joseph H., who was born in Boryslav, Poland (presently Ukraine) in 1921, the youngest of three children. He recounts his brother's death before his own birth; his family's orthodoxy; attending cheder; participating in Zionist groups; brief German invasion; Soviet occupation; German invasion in 1941; hiding his family during Ukrainian anti-Jewish violence and killings; ghettoization; hiding his parents during round-ups (he and his sister had jobs which exempted them from deportation); his later deportation to Janowska; escape with assistance from the camp underground; returning to Boryslav; futile efforts to save his mother from deportation; witnessing a mass killing; hiding in a bunker with his father and sister; his sister's deportation to Płaszów; deportation with his father to Płaszów; their transfer to Wieliczka; his sister's deportation to Stutthof (she was killed there); deportation with his father to Birkenau in August 1944; remaining in sealed train cars for days; transfer to Mauthausen; slave labor in the quarry; his father's transfer to Melk (he did not survive); transfer to Linz II, then the Hermann-Göring-Werke; public executions; civilian workers bringing him food; Allied bombings; injuries from shrapnel; liberation by United States troops; jealousy of the liberated Soviet prisoners who exacted revenge on the Germans; traveling to Budapest; assisting refugees illegally traveling from Salzburg to Italy; organizing refugee camps in Belgium; meeting his future wife; illegal emigration from Marseille by ship to Palestine; interdiction by the British; incarceration on Cyprus for twenty-one months; marriage; and arrival in Israel. Mr. H. discusses relations between national prisoner groups in the camps; refusing to testify at war crimes trials, despite an investigator traveling to Israel to solicit his testimony, due to his belief it would not serve justice; and continuing health problems resulting from his experiences.

H., Joseph, 1921-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
Interview Date
June 3, 1992 and June 10, 1992.
Boryslav (Ukraine)
Budapest (Hungary)
Salzburg (Austria)
Marseille (France)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Joseph H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3368). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-06-04 13:25:00
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