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Iakov K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3572)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3572

Videotape testimony of Iakov K., who was born in Sarajevo, Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (presently Bosnia and Herzegovina) in 1905, one of four children. He recalls his father's death in 1915; completing business school in 1923; interning at the Jewish bank in Sarajevo; working at a bank in Prague for two years; returning to Sarajevo; establishing successful businesses; friendships with Serbs and Muslims; losing his businesses when the Ustaša gained power; hiding in his basement from April to October, 1941; a non-Jewish employee providing food; daily meetings with a Jewish neighbor; escaping with his sister to Mostar; his neighbor providing contacts for them to obtain false papers; traveling to Dubrovnik; benign Italian occupation; learning another sister has been killed for partisan activities; transfer to Rab Island in spring 1943; joining the underground when Italy capitulated; escorting about 400 people to Otočac as Germans approached; leaving there as Germans approached; administrative duties for the partisans; learning his Jewish neighbor had been killed for ostensible spying, but believing it was antisemitism; working as an accountant in Zagreb after the war; meeting Jews in Opatija who were emigrating to Israel; emigrating with his wife and mother-in-law in June 1949; and establishing a printing business. Mr. K. notes his strong sense of Israeli identity, but “shedding a tear” when hearing “our” music during visits to Yugoslavia.

K., Iakov, 1906-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
August 19, 1993.
Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Dubrovnik (Croatia)
Otočac (Croatia)
Zagreb (Croatia)
Opatija (Primorsko-goranska županija, Croatia)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Iakov K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3572). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.