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Shaul S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3546)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3546

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.

Author/Creator
S., Shaul, 1925-
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
May 16, 1993.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
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.