Daniel I. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3812)
Videotape testimony of Daniel I., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1932, an only child. He tells of his father's career as a writer and newspaper editor; his mother's as a teacher; an uncle, four aunts, and his grandmother emigrating to Palestine prior to his birth; German invasion in September 1939; destruction of their home by German bombs; fleeing to Soviet-occupied Białystok; moving to Moscow in summer 1940; attending school; visiting his aunt in Leningrad (presently Saint Petersburg); moving when his father found employment in Kaunas; attending a Yiddish school; German invasion; ghettoization; separation from his parents in a ghetto-wide selection in October 1941; sneaking back to them, saving himself from the mass killing of thousands; hiding with his parents during a round-up in 1942; registering his birth date as 1929 and learning carpentry to avoid deportations; opting to be deported with his father, rather than his mother when the ghetto was liquidated in July 1944; arrival at Landsberg, then Dachau the next day; deportation by train a week later; escaping through the window; hiding in a nearby forest; giving himself a Polish name; telling a farmer his parents had perished in the recent Warsaw uprising; the farmer bringing him to another farmer in Lędziny for employment; and observing the Auschwitz smokestacks en route.
Mr. I recalls his employer obtaining legal papers for him (the employer knew he was Jewish, but the family did not); attending church with them; arrival of Soviet troops; informing them his employer was not a German collaborator; traveling to Łódź in February 1946 after learning that Jews were there; attending school; learning his father had been killed and his mother had joined her sister in Moscow six months prior; her return; traveling with her to Germany, intending to join their relatives in Palestine; living in a Hashomer Hatzair refugee camp; assistance from the Joint; boarding the ship Exodus in France; interdiction by the British; eventual debarkation in Hamburg; living in a refugee camp; visiting Lübeck; illegal emigration with his mother to Palestine in April 1948; living with his relatives; military service; his education and career as an engineer; marriage; the births of two sons; a severe injury in the 1973 War from which he did not fully recover; corresponding with his rescuers until their deaths; and a visit from his rescuer's daughter in 1983. Mr. I. notes not sharing his experiences because no one in Israel was interested, and his children's interest when they were older.
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
- Interview Date
- November 23 and 30, and December 21, 1995.
Saint Petersburg (Russia)
Lędziny (Katowice, Poland)
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Daniel I. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3812). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.