Shaul S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3546)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
- Interview Date
- May 16, 1993.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Shaul S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3546). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Shaul S., who was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1925, one of six children. He recounts moving to Middelburg when he was a year and a half; his parents' divorce; his father's remarriage to a German non-Jew; visiting her family in Germany; German invasion; anti-Jewish restrictions; a German soldier (his stepmother's friend) warning them to emigrate; forced relocation to Amsterdam in 1942; round-ups; his father's former customers sending them food; learning his older sister had been deported; deportation to Westerbork; assistance from an older prisoner; train transport to a camp in Poland; slave labor for Organization Todt; a friend's death in a random shooting; transfer to Auschwitz/Birkenau; beatings, shootings, and public hangings; pointless slave labor; briefly seeing his sister (she was later killed); injuring his leg, resulting in several postwar surgeries; assignment to the masonry school; volunteering for transfer, thinking he could no longer survive; transfer to the former Warsaw ghetto; slave labor deconstructing the buildings; contracting typhus; treatment by a German kapo; privileged work as a surgical assistant; performing amputations; the Polish uprising; a death march to Kutno; train transfer to Dachau, then Kaufering; slave labor constructing factories; volunteering for a bomb disposal squad to obtain more food; transfer to Landshut; train transport; Allied bombings killing many prisoners; liberation by United States troops; working as a translator for the U.S. military; living in Feldafing displaced persons camp; returning to the Netherlands; reunion with his two sisters, his father, and stepmother; and emigration to Israel.
Mr. S. discusses many details of camp life; his state of mind at various times; relations between ethnic prisoner groups; not forming close bonds, fearing the loss of those with whom he bonded; the impossibility of conveying his experiences to non-survivors, including his wife and children; permanent psychological scars; and attributing his survival to luck. He reads his poem about his sister's arrival in Auschwitz.