Shalom K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3385) interviewed by Nathan Beyrak
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.
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
- Interview Date
- July 27 and August 13, 1992.
- 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.