Zeev S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3386)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
- Interview Date
- August 8, August 13, and October 22, 1992.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Zeev S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3386). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Zeev S., who was born in Sochaczew, Poland in 1921, the second of seven children. He recounts attending public and Hebrew schools; antisemitic harassment; the Jewish community's rich cultural life; caring for his chronically ill mother from age thirteen; participating in Hechalutz; German invasion; fleeing to Warsaw with his family; returning to Sochaczew; slave labor with his brother in the Kampinoska Forest; their escape to Soviet-occupied Białystok; returning home after three months; forced labor constructing an airport; deportation with his family to the Warsaw ghetto in February 1941; starvation; his mother ordering him and his brother to escape; their escape with a friend to a village where Poles hired them, knowing they were Jews; sending food to their family; learning his mother had died; hiding his father and young sister in a nearby city; his other siblings also working for Poles in the area; hiding in several locations; learning of his father's arrest; taking his place; and deportation to Skarżysko-Kamienna.
Mr. S. recalls slave labor in the munitions factory in Werke A; frequent beatings; hospitalization; assistance from friends; public hangings; his friends filling his quota, with approval from a Polish supervisor, when he was too weak to work; trading with Polish guards for extra food; celebrating Jewish holidays with his friends; transfer to Buchenwald in spring 1944; beatings and killings of those who had been in positions of authority at Skarżysko-Kamienna; transfer to Schlieben; slave labor in a munitions factory; transfer to Flössburg; bribing a German guard to protect them; a seventeen-day train transport to Mauthausen during which large numbers died; liberation by United States troops; assistance from the Red Cross; emigration to Palestine in 1946 via Bologna and Rome; marriage; and the births of four children. Mr. S. discusses the loss of his entire family; puzzlement over why he survived and others did not; the impossibility of conveying a complete story of all the murders he witnessed; lack of support, empathy, and interest from Israelis; leaving Israel in the 1960s to travel and to live in France, but maintaining his house in Israel; pervasive painful memories despite his family and economic success; and not wanting to be pitied, but understood.