Yosef S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3792)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
- Interview Date
- August 24, 1995 and September 7, 1995.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Yosef S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3792). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Yosef S., who was born in Łódź, Poland in 1921, one of four children. He recounts attending public school; participating in Hashomer Hatzair and a sports group; German invasion; one brother's escape to Lʹviv; a non-Jew smuggling him and his father to Warsaw to meet this brother and escape to the Soviet Union; his father's return to Łódź; attemptinig to enter the Soviet zone with his brother via Siedlce; capture by the Soviets; being sent back to Warsaw; returning to the Łódź ghetto; working as a carpenter, sabotaging furniture he built for the Germans; building sets for the ghetto theater; his brothers working for the Judenrat; one brother working in a bakery (he brought them extra bread); hiding valuables and photographs in a bunker, which they retrieved after the war; his sister's marriage (Rumkowski officiated); her son's birth; hiding them in their bunker; their deportation; pervasive starvation; and clearing the ghetto with a small group after its liquidation in 1944.
He recalls deportation to Oranienburg with his father and brothers; beatings and random shootings; working with Mendel Grossman; smuggling extra food to his family; public hangings of those caught smuggling food; transfer of his father and brothers to Königs Wusterhausen; joining them shortly thereafter; clearing bombing rubble in Berlin; the Kommandant keeping them from a death march (Grossman perished on the death march) and hiding among them; liberation by Soviet troops; the Kommandant's discovery and execution; returning to Łódź; his mother's return; his younger brother's emigration to Palestine; living in Feldafing displaced persons camp; marriage in 1948; and emigration to Israel in 1949. Mr. S. discusses theater and concerts in the ghetto; the work of Mendel Grossman as a clandestine ghetto photographer; Israelis' lack of interest in his experiences; and not sharing his experiences with his children lest he “traumatize” them. He shows drawings and photographs he had hidden and recovered, including those by Grossman.