Pinchas Z. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3651)
Videotape testimony of Pinchas Z., who was born in Baranów, Poland in 1930, the older of two brothers. He recalls his father's successful tailoring business; attending cheder and public school; antisemitic harassment by teachers and school mates; two of his mother's sisters living with them; German occupation in 1939; anti-Jewish restrictions; transfer of all Jews to the poorest area in 1941; his father continuing to sew for Poles in exchange for food; a Polish friend warning his father of an expulsion in May 1942; hiding with his father's Polish friend, then in a forest near Pogonów; joining another of his mother's sister and her family in the Kamionka ghetto; hearing rumors of liquidation in the fall; his family leaving for the forest near Baranów, then the Końskowola ghetto; returning to the forest near Pogonów in October 1942; hiding in several places with Poles his father knew; suffering from starvation, cold, and lice; being warned to leave the area in spring 1943; going deeper into the forest; begging for food as a Polish orphan (he was blond); his father constructing a bunker in December 1943; a Polish couple from whom he begged offering to adopt him; his father telling him to do so; tending their cows during the summer; clandestinely providing milk to his brother; fleeing to his family when other children discovered he was Jewish; his father constructing two bunkers in September; “stealing” food from villages in February 1944; gathering wood with his father and brother; Germans shooting at them; and returning to the bunker with his brother.
He recounts Germans attacking their bunker; fleeing despite being shot in the leg; observing his mother being beaten to death; a Pole caring for him; losing his will to live thinking his entire family had been murdered; staying with a Polish friend; his aunt finding him; joining a friend in his bunker; his friend's reluctance to take them because of his wound; leaving for another bunker in spring; having to learn to walk again; his aunt receiving help from their Polish friends; an attack; fleeing to a swamp; partisans taking over the area; liberation by Soviet troops; learning Jews returning to their homes had been killed; traveling with his aunt and a friend to Lublin in September 1944; living in an orphanage; hospitalization for two months; learning of the extermination camps; his desire for revenge; assistance from the Joint; attending school in February 1945; the orphanage head's unconditional love (he has her diary from that period); violence by Poles; separation from his aunt when the orphanage transferred to Pieszyce; traveling to Łódź in December 1945; entering a Hashomer Hatzair home; transfer to Szczecin, then to Jordanbad displaced persons camp in spring 1946, with assistance from the Jewish Brigade; illegal emigration to Palestine from Marseille; interdiction by the British; incarceration on Cyprus; and arrival in Israel on December 12, 1947. Mr. Z. discusses continuing contact with his aunt who emigrated to the United States; nightmares resulting from his experiences; visiting Poland in 1963; finding his parents' and brother's bodies; burying them in a Jewish cemetery in Lublin; his nightmares ceasing; poor treatment of survivors by native Israelis; and accompanying youth to Poland to share his story, despite feeling each time he is being murdered all over again. He shows photographs and objects, including his father's pen knife found with his body.
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993 and 1994
- Interview Date
- November 30, December 12 and 20, 1993, and March 8, and April 11, 1994.
Baranów (Lublin, Poland)
Pogonów (Lublin, Poland)
Kamionka (Śląskie, Poland)
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Pinchas Z. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3651). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.