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Binjamin M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3553)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3553

Videotape testimony of Binjamin M., who was born in Włocławek, Poland in 1917, the oldest of three children. He recounts a happy childhood in an affluent, assimilated home; participating in Hashomer Hatzair; increasing antisemitism in the 1930s; studying engineering in Warsaw; German invasion; fleeing to Brest in the Soviet Union; corresponding with his family; assistance from a family friend; working as an electrician; his brother's arrival; moving to Lʹviv to work as an electrical engineer; arrest with his brother as non-Soviet citizens; using his influence to have his brother sent home, hoping to save him; deportation to a Soviet camp near Rybinsk; slave labor clearing trees; many deaths from disease and starvation; transfer to another camp; improved conditions after obtaining a privileged job as an electrical engineer; transfer to a cement factory; assistance from the Russian factory director; severe burns from an electrical fire; hospitalization; a prisoner doctor saving his life; segregation of the Polish prisoners after German invasion in June 1941; harsh slave labor; release after a Polish-Soviet agreement; traveling to Arzamas, then Vladikavkaz; living with a Jewish family; moving to Baku, then Krasnovodsk (presently Turkmenbashy) to enlist in the Polish military; an antisemitic Polish officer preventing his enlistment; traveling to Samarqand; enlisting in the Polish military in May 1943; assignment as an officer due to his engineering skills; learning of the mass murder of the Jews in Berdychiv; fighting through Poland to the outskirts of Berlin; being wounded; hospitalization in Kraków; reunion with his sister (his parents and brother had been killed); traveling to Warsaw; marriage in 1946; and emigration to Palestine. Mr. M. discusses the power of criminals in Soviet camps and the negative perception and reception of Holocaust survivors in Israel.

M., Binjamin, 1917-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
July 1 and 2, 1993.
Soviet Union
Włocławek (Poland)
Warsaw (Poland)
Brest (Belarus)
Lʹviv (Ukraine)
Rybinsk (I︠A︡roslavskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia)
Arzamas (Russia)
Vladikavkaz (Russia)
Baku (Azerbaijan)
Turkmenbashy (Turkmenistan)
Samarqand (Uzbekistan)
Berdychiv (Ukraine)
Kraków (Poland)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Binjamin M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3553). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-29 11:53:00
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