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Shalom K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3385) interviewed by Nathan Beyrak,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3385

Videotape testimony of Shalom K., who was born in Opoczno, Poland in 1918, an only child. He recounts two older siblings who died prior to his birth; moving to Łódź; his father's strong Zionism; attending a Yavneh school, then one conducted in Polish; participating in Bene ʻAḳiva; antisemitic harassment; singing in the synagogue and in performances by Itzhak Katzenelson's theater company; German invasion preventing his emigration to Palestine; fleeting east with his father; round-up with other Jews in Mszczonów; Germans killing Jews by randomly shooting into the crowd; their return to Łódź; a Polish neighbor hiding him during a German raid; having to move to the designated ghetto area; difficulty obtaining food; Bene ʻAḳiva meetings and their failed escape; organizing a kibbutz; teaching and living at an orphanage in Marysin; his father's severe beating; a round-up of all the children in 1942; moving in with his parents; Bene ʻAḳiva friends obtaining a privileged position for him in a bakery, then a kitchen; providing extra food to his parents; performing in a ghetto theater; working in a nail factory; hiding with his parents during an action; surrendering due to lack of food; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau; separation from his parents; and a hand injury inflicted by a guard.

Mr. K. recalls encountering Itzchak H., a former Marysin student; determining to stay with him, since they were stronger together; meeting the organizer of the ghetto performances; participating in a performance to receive extra food, which he shared with Itzchak H.; volunteering as a craftsman; transfer with Itzchak H. three months later to Braunschweig; a serious infection in his hand; a guard treating him; Itzchak H. sharing food and arranging for a job with him in a factory; Allied bombings; clearing bombing rubble in a nearby village; transfer to Watenstedt; being assigned to carry corpses to a truck; train transfer and a march to Ravensbrück; receiving Red Cross packages; observing cannibalism; train transfer to Wöbbelin; liberation by United States troops; his hand finally healing; traveling to Lübeck; attending a survivor conference at the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp; traveling to Sweden with Itzchak H.; preparing young survivors to emigrate to Palestine; legal emigration with Itzchak H. to Palestine; fighting in the Israel-Arab War; marriage; his son's birth; nightmares resulting from his experiences; and testifying at a war crimes trial in Germany. Mr. K. discusses hierarchies in camp; his determination to survive; and not sharing his experiences with his son. He recites poetry.

K., Shalom, 1918-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
Interview Date
July 27 and August 13, 1992.
Opoczno (Poland)
Łódź (Poland)
Mszczonów (Poland)
Lübeck (Germany)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Shalom K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3385). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-29 11:42:00
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