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John M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1738) interviewed by Jaschael Pery

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1738

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.

Author/Creator
M., John, 1922-
Published
New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1990
Interview Date
December 12, 1990.
Language
English
Copies
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.