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Mordechai L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3774)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3774

Videotape testimony of Mordechai L., who was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1926, the youngest of three brothers. He recounts his family's orthodoxy; their German cultural orientation (Czech was their second language); cordial relations with non-Jews; questioning orthodoxy as he became more educated; German invasion in March 1939; anti-Jewish restrictions; one brother's emigration to Palestine; his father's arrest and release five weeks later; expulsion from school; his bar mitzvah; attending a Zionist Czech school; participating in Zionist youth movements despite his father's disapproval; meeting Fredy Hirsch; a non-Jew bringing them food; apprenticing as an electrician; deportation with his parents and brother in 1943 to Theresienstadt; assignment to a construction group; sham improvements for a Red Cross visit; studying Hebrew; separation from his parents when he was deported to Auschwitz in September 1944 (he never saw them again); remaining with his brother and two friends; a cousin who had been there previously advising them to volunteer for any transport out; their transfer to Kaufering; slave labor in a lumber mill; the deaths of his brother and one friend; a death march to Allach; liberation by United States troops; returning with his friend to Prague via Plzeň with his friend; briefly working with a non-Jew organizing Jewish orphans; moving to a Makabi ha-tsaʻir camp in Bratislava; helping organize youth emigration to Palestine; marriage in 1946; and emigration to Israel in 1949. Mr. L. discusses prisoners organizing help for others and cultural events in Theresienstadt; Yom Kippur services there in 1944; and sometimes believing that he would survive and sometimes that he would not.

L., Mordechai, 1926-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
Interview Date
April 16, June 15, and October 26, 1995.
Prague (Czech Republic)
Plzeň (Czech Republic)
Bratislava (Slovakia)
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Mordechai L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3774). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-06-04 13:25:00
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