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Wili G. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3516) interviewed by Anita Tarsi and Nathan Beyrak

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3516

Videotape testimony of Wili G., who was born in Olomuoc, Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (presently Czech Republic) in 1914, the oldest of three brothers. He recounts his family's affluence; attending the local German gymnasium; completing engineering studies in Belgium; draft into the Czech military; German occupation; military discharge at the end of 1938; one brother's emigration to Palestine; moving to Prague with his grandmother; participating in Maccabi; teaching at a Zionist school; joining a hachsharah; marriage to a woman he met there in October 1941; joining his parents in Olomouc; a notice to report to the Gestapo in March 1942; forced labor in March 1942; deportation with his family three weeks later to Theresienstadt; living in a Hechalutz barrack; labor assignments in a garden, then laying railroad tracks; starvation, illnesses, and many deaths; joining Shomer Hatzair; privileged work as a wagon driver, then in an agricultural laboratory; his grandmother's deportation to Treblinka; joining the underground; being appointed to supervise a children's barrack; bringing his wife and parents to his room; hospitalization for diphtheria; working with Fredy Hirsch; reporting to Jacob Edelstein, the Judenältester (his parents previously knew him); organizing Sabbath observance; weekly transports creating great anxiety; hiding his wife's pregnancy so she would not be deported; reluctance to work with Benjamin Murmelstein, Edelstein's replacement; sham improvements for a Red Cross visit; Leo Baeck becoming his supervisor; Baeck's assistance allowing his wife to give birth to thier daughter; helping to organize a wedding; liberation by Soviet troops; assisting Beriḥah arrange emigration of children to Palestine; accompanying a children's group to legally enter Palestine in 1946; his wife's death three months later from polio; his parents joining him in 1949; and the births of two more children. Mr. G. discusses Edelstein's focus on saving youth rather than the elderly; cultural events and many people in Theresienstadt; and his children's difficulties dealing with the Holocaust. He shows documents and sketches he and his father drew in Theresienstadt.

Author/Creator
G., Wili, 1914-
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
June 17, 1993.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Wili G. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3516). 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/4297703
Record last modified: 2015-10-26 13:04:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4297703