Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Peretz H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3569)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3569

Videotape testimony of Peretz H., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1927, the fifth of six children. He recounts harassment as the only Jew in his public school class; his oldest brother's military draft in 1938; German invasion; learning his brother was taken as a Soviet prisoner of war; another brother leaving to find him; anti-Jewish abuse and restrictions; ghettoization; his father's death from starvation; his older two brothers escaping; smuggling food into the ghetto with his younger brother Zalman; escaping to live as non-Jews; singing Polish songs for food and money; several escapes from Poles who suspected they were Jews; receiving assistance from Poles (some knew they were Jews, others did not); Zalman re-entering the ghetto to obtain goods to sell, and being caught in the uprising; Zalman escaping and rejoining him; brief employment as a night watchman, which provided a place to stay; taking food to a hidden Jew; selling cigarettes with other street children; obtaining false papers through the Jewish underground; registering as Poles; arrest for making an anti-German joke; and release the next day.

Mr. H. recalls he and Zalman participating in the Polish uprising with Armia Krajowa; surrender; transport to Ożarów; transfer to Stalag VIII B (Lamsdorf), then IV B (Mühlberg); receiving Red Cross parcels; forced labor in an airplane factory; antisemitic harassment by non-Jewish Polish prisoners; assistance from their German supervisor; liberation by Soviet troops from an evacuation march; separation from Zalman; traveling with a Soviet unit, then returning to Warsaw; reunion with an older brother; joining Zalman in Kraków; living on a kibbutz; protection from anti-Jewish violence by Soviet troops; traveling to Czechoslovakia, then Biberach displaced persons camp; assistance from UNRRA; illegal emigration by ship from Marseille to Palestine; interdiction by the British; brief incarceration; training with the Palmaḥ; serving in the Arab-Israeli war; being wounded; marriage; and the births of three sons. Mr. H. discusses nightmares resulting from his experiences, and sharing his experiences in schools and military training. He shows photographs, documents, his book, and sings Polish songs.

H., Peretz, 1927-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
July 29, August 6, and August 13, 1993.
Warsaw (Poland)
Ożarów (Poland)
Kraków (Poland)
Marseille (France)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Peretz H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3569). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-30 11:40:00
This page: