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Nathan R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3849)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3849

Videotape testimony of Nathan R., who was born in Sevluš, Czechoslovakia (presently Vynohradiv, Ukraine) in 1928, the older of two children. He recounts his aunt's emigration to Palestine in 1933; attending cheder and public school; cordial relations with non-Jews; his father's work as a blacksmith; his bar mitzvah; attending gymnasium in Berehove; returning home after Hungarian occupation; attending a Zionist gymnasium in Mukacheve from 1942 to 1944; German invasion in March; returning home; ghettoization; his aunt's non-Jewish boyfriend smuggling food to them; his mother entrusting valuables with a non-Jewish friend (she returned them to Mr. R. after the war); deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau in June; separation from his mother and sister; his father volunteering himself as a blacksmith and him as his assistant; prisoners committing suicide; overwhelming starvation; his father sharing his bread; praying together on Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur; public hangings; a death march to Gross-Rosen, then Dachau; the deaths of his uncle and father; and liberation by United States troops.
Mr. R. recalls returning home via Prague; living with a surviving aunt; traveling to Budapest, intending to emigrate to Palestine; assistance from Beriḥah reaching the Judenberg displaced persons camp; traveling illegally to Milan; joining Hashomer Hatzair; assistance from UNRRA; selling goods in Rome; transfer to Cinecittà; deferring illegal emigration to Palestine, not wanting to be incarcerated again, but not being allowed to remain in Italy; traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Montevideo, then Buenos Aires in 1946; emigration to Israel in 1948; military draft in the Arab-Israel war; marriage; and the births of two children. Mr. R. discusses the importance of being with his father to his survival; suppressing all emotions in the camps; nightmares resulting from his experiences; losing all belief in God; his unresolved emotional struggles; and continuing to question whether his survival was “worth it.” Mr. R. notes visiting the camps and shows photographs.

R., Nathan, 1928-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996
Interview Date
October 24 and 31, and November 18, 1996.
Vynohradiv (Ukraine)
Berehove (Ukraine)
Mukacheve (Ukraine)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Budapest (Hungary)
Milan (Italy)
Rome (Italy)
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Montevideo (Uruguay)
Santos (São Paulo, Brazil)
Buenos Aires (Argentina)
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Nathan R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3849). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-06-04 13:32:00
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