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Shalom H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3549)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3549

Videotape testimony of Shalom H., who was born in Będzin, Poland in 1915, the youngest of five children. He recounts attending a Mazrahi, then secular school; daily study with a rabbi; attending, then organizing, a Zionist youth camp; one sister's emigration to Belgium; military draft in 1938; German invasion; capture by Germans in Lʹviv; transfer to Kraków; a non-Jewish soldier urging him to escape; jumping from a train; assistance from local villagers; returning home; he and other Zionist leaders meeting with Moshe Merin, head of the Judenrat; refusing to work for the Judenrat; his uncle, a community leader, refusing to cooperate with Merin; visits from Mordecai Anielewicz and other resistance leaders urging them to revolt; ghettoization; escaping during a round-up in which his parents were taken; hiding with help from his German supervisor; living in a bunker, then with non-Jewish neighbors; deportation to Blechhammer; slave labor building a factory; the Jewish camp elder, Karl Demerer, beating him to save him from being killed by a German; receiving extra food from French and British prisoners of war; praying with others on Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur; Allied bombings; hospitalization; a death march and transfer in open cattle cars to Buchenwald and many other camps; clearing ruins in Weimar; escaping with two others; hiding in a warehouse; Germans bringing them food; liberation by United States troops; hospitalization; employment locating and interrogating German war criminals, which provided a sense of revenge; reunion with his future wife in Memmingen; traveling to Belgium; his daughter's birth; visiting Israel in 1949; and emigrating there. Mr. H. notes he and one sister (her child and husband were killed) are the sole survivors of his family. He discusses his belief that Jews survived through helping each other; many examples of such help; and sharing his experiences with his grandchildren.

Author/Creator
H., Shalom, 1915-
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
March 18, May 27, and May 30, 1993.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Shalom H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3549). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.