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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.
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.