John M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1738) interviewed by Jaschael Pery
- New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1990
- Interview Date
- December 12, 1990.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- John M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1738). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of John M., who was born in Prague in 1922. He recounts his family's strong Czech rather than Jewish identity (he was not circumcised); cordial relations with non-Jews; his father's death in 1936; support from Czech friends when anti-Jewish laws were passed; his mother's suicide after he and his brother received transport notices; their transport to Theresienstadt in April 1942, then to Auschwitz in October; difficulty believing that people were being gassed; assignment to the I.G. Farben plant in Buna/Monowitz; admission to the hospital, then release; readmission; telling the SS physician he was half Jewish (not being circumcised confirmed this) thus avoiding selection for death; working in the hospital which provided extra food; learning his brother was sent for gassing; evacuation to Gleiwitz, Buchenwald, then Berga in January 1945; escaping from an evacuation in April; walking to Prague; being hidden by friends; and "jubilance" after liberation. Mr. M. discusses distancing himself from anything Jewish including changing his name and dating non-Jews; realizing this "didn't work"; emigration to the United States in 1949; marriage to a survivor; and sharing his story with his children while striving not to engender hatred in them.