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Shmuel Z. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3804)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3804

Videotape testimony of Shmuel Z., who was born in Kraków, Poland in 1928, one of two children. He recounts attending a Mizrahi school; antisemitic harassment; German invasion; anti-Jewish restrictions; forced labor in a tobacco factory; moving with his family to a village; slave labor constructing an airport; forced relocation to Krzeszowice, then moving to the Kraków ghetto; a non-Jewish friend assisting them; continuing to work at the airport; smuggling potatoes into the ghetto; his father's German boss hiding them during round-ups; separation from his family when he was sent to Płaszów; assignment as a painter; painting Kommandant Amon Goeth's house; public hangings; transfer to Trzebinia in 1943; privileged work as a cook; transfer to Auschwitz/Birkenau, then Myslowice; slave labor in a coal mine; hospitalization; losing his faith in God; a death march then train transport to Nordhausen; many deaths en route; slave labor in a missile factory; transfer to Bergen-Belsen; observing cannibalism; liberation by British troops; living in a refugee camp; returning to Kraków via Berlin; living with Polish friends in Krzeszowice; reunion with his sister; reunion with his mother in Prague; moving to Landsberg displaced persons camp; reunion with his father in Heidelberg; returning to Landsberg; attending an ORT school; illegal emigration to Palestine from Marseille; fighting in the Israel-Arab War; marriage; the births of three children; and fighting in the 1967 war. Mr. Z. discusses details of camp life, including songs; Israeli contempt for survivors when he first arrived; visiting Poland with his wife and children in 1989, the first time he shared his experiences with them; pervasive painful memories; and writing a memoir. He shows letters from Israeli youths he has accompanied on trips to Poland.

Z., Shmuel, 1928-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
Interview Date
October 27, November 9, and November 17, 1995.
Kraków (Poland)
Krzeszowice (Poland)
Berlin (Germany)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Heidelberg (Germany)
Marseille (France)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Shmuel Z. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3804). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-06-04 13:28:00
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