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Fishel Y. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3847)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3847

Videotape testimony of Fishel Y., who was born in Łódź, Poland in 1921, one of four children. He recounts his father's bakery; German invasion; fleeing with his family to his paternal grandparents in Rejowiec; Germans compelling them to work; smuggling themselves into the Łódź ghetto two months later; working in his father's bakery; one brother's deportation in September 1940; his deportation to Grunow three days later; slave labor building the Reichsautobahn; adequate food, access to showers, and clean barracks (better conditions than the ghetto); corresponding with his brother through a camp nurse; transfer to Liebenau, then Wittenberge; a serious injury in 1942; transport to the Jewish hospital in Berlin; surgery and convalescence; a non-Jew bringing him extra food; returning to Wittenberge three months later; transfer to Auschwitz/Birkenau in 1943; slave labor at the camp's farm; hospitalization; trading cigarettes for food; assignment to the kommando preparing the gas chambers for demolition; transfer to Gross-Rosen, then Buchenwald; liberation by United States troops; hospitalization; transfer to the Fulda displaced persons camp; traveling to Bamberg; returning home; reunion with his brother in 1946 (the only survivor of their family); arranging for his brother to enter the Fürth displaced persons camp; his brother's marriage and emigration to Enschede; learning weaving in Kulmbach; joining his brother in 1947; emigration to Israel in 1949; marriage in 1955; and participating in the Sinai war. Mr. Y. discusses the camp hierarchy based on nationality; nightmares resulting from his experiences; not sharing his experiences with his daughter; attributing his survival to luck and miracles; and not understanding how God allowed the Holocaust, but continuing to believe in a supreme power. He shows documents and photographs.

Y., Fishel, 1921-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996
Interview Date
October 18, and October 31, 1996.
Łódź (Poland)
Rejowiec Lubelski (Poland)
Berlin (Germany)
Bamberg (Germany)
Kulmbach (Germany)
Enschede (Netherlands)
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Fishel Y. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3847). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.