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Chanan B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3643)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3643

Videotape testimony of Chanan B., who was born in Ústí nad Labem (formerly Aussig), Czechoslovakia in 1924, the younger of two children. He recounts living in Bochum until his father's death in 1930; living with aunts in Aussig, then Teplice; moving to Prague with his mother in 1939; participating in Tehelet Lavan, a Zionist youth group; attending a Jewish school; his bar mitzvah; visiting his father's family in Slavkov u Brna; German occupation; anti-Jewish restrictions; expulsion from school; apprenticeship as an electrician; assistance from an aunt who was married to a non-Jew; deportation with his mother to Theresienstadt in February 1942; encountering an uncle who assisted him; visiting his mother and grandmother; his group of friends sharing food and singing; transfer with his mother to the Zamość ghetto two months later; slave labor installing telephone cable; his mother's round-up while he worked outside the ghetto (he never saw her again); escaping with another prisoner; traveling to Kraków; smuggling themselves to Prague via Bohumín and Ostrava; joining his sister; his brother-in-law arranging his escape with his friend to Slovakia; their arrest in Žilina; and transfer two weeks later to prisons in Nový Bydžov, Ostrava, then Brno.

Mr. B. tells of deportation to Auschwitz in October; his friend's death; slave labor paving roads; “giving up,” then regaining some hope after assignment to an easier job; receiving packages from his sister and aunt; bribing prisoner officials with the food from the packages for privileged work; public executions; transfer to Warsaw; clearing rubble in the former ghetto; contacting his aunt though a Polish worker; a death march to Kutno; train transfer to Dachau, then Kaufering; encountering his brother-in-law; slave labor burying corpses; re-assignment to care for those with typhus; he and his brother-in-law caring for each other in turn when they each had typhus; transfer to Allach; abandonment by the guards; liberation by United States troops; transport to Plzeň, then Prague; reunion with his sister; writing a journal of his experiences; draft into the Czech army; training as an aircraft technician in Liberec; and emigration to Israel. He discusses the prisoner hierarchies in the camps; yearly meetings with other survivors; one of them translating his journal into Hebrew; and his children learning of his experiences from reading his journal.

B., Chanan, 1924-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1994
Interview Date
April 21, 1994, May 12, 1994, and July 28, 1994.
Ústí nad Labem (Czech Republic)
Bochum (Germany)
Teplice (Czech Republic)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Slavkov u Brna (Czech Republic)
Zamość (Poland)
Kraków (Poland)
Ostrava (Czech Republic)
Bohumín (Czech Republic)
Žilina (Slovakia)
Nový Bydžov (Czech Republic)
Brno (Czech Republic)
Kutno (Poland)
Plzeň (Czech Republic)
Liberec (Czech Republic)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Chanan B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3643). 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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