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Arieh K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3513) interviewed by Rachel Jadaio and Anita Tarsi

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3513

Videotape testimony of Arieh K., who was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1928, the son of Polish émigrés and the older of two children. He recounts his family's move to Berlin in 1930; his father's rabbinical ordination and appointment as chief rabbi of Thessalonikē in 1933; going to his grandfather's funeral in Rzeszów in 1938; attending public school, the American high school, then a Greek private school; German invasion in April 1941; his father's arrest in Athens and imprisonment in Vienna; confiscation of their home and his father's library; his bar mitzvah in July; his father's return in Decemberthen compulsory appointment by a German official to be head of the Jewish community; his worki with high church and government officials to ransom Jews and prevent deportations; his arrest in April 1943, then Mr. K.'s arrest with his mother and sister days later; incarceration with his sister and parents in the Baron Hirsch quarter; their deportation in August with Spanish Jews to Bergen-Belsen; assignment to the “Star” camp; slave labor in the shoe kommando; Dutch Jews joining their barrack; his father's assignment to head a barrack of elderly; reassignment to constructing barracks; and the Dutch Jews observing Shabbat and baking matzoh for Passover.
Mr. K. recalls starvation and lice; a friend arranging a privileged assignment for him as a runner; obtaining extra food for his parents; contracting typhus; observing cannibalism; train evacuation with his family in spring 1945; assistance from the Red Cross; liberation by Soviet troops in Tröbitz; his father's death; a two-month journey with his mother and sister to Thessalonikē; assistance from the Joint and the Jewish Brigade; his mother's brief arrest due to accusations of collaboration; living with friends; attending public school; moving to Athens in 1946; illegal emigration with his mother and sister to Palestine; Haganah training; being severely wounded in January 1948; marriage in 1959; the births of three children; and his career as a lawyer. Mr. K. notes not “looking back” or discussing the Holocaust; traumatic memories triggered by defending his father from accusations of collaboration and visiting Thessalonikē in 1975; visiting Bergen-Belsen and his father's grave in Tröbitz; translating and publishing the diary he kept in Belsen from July 11, 1944 to March 31, 1945; and sharing his experiences with his wife and children. He shows photographs - including one of his father's grave, documents, a song composed in Belsen, and his diary's Hebrew publication.

Author/Creator
K., Arieh, 1928-
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
May 3, 1993.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Arieh K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3513). 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/4297695
Record last modified: 2015-07-20 13:05:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4297695