Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Ya'akov V. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3851)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3851

Videotape testimony of Ya'akov V., who was born in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1931, one of five children. He recounts attending a Jewish school; Soviet occupation; German invasion; fleeing with his family; arrest of his father and older brother; returning home; finding their home occupied by Lithuanians; ghettoization; visiting his brother and father at a work camp (he never saw his father again); his brother's escape; moving to his aunt's home with his sister; his sister caring for him; her marriage in 1943; working in a factory; deportation to Stutthof; separation from the women; transfer to Landsberg, then Dachau in a children's group; Ze'ev G. leading the children; transfer to Auschwitz/Birkenau; receiving extra food from the Sonderkommandos; praying not to be selected for death; escaping when he was selected; two Poles supporting him on the death march to Gleiwitz; escaping with them; hiding in a village; liberation by Soviet troops; traveling to Katowice, then a refugee camp in Sosnowiec; a Jewish Soviet officer taking him to Kraków; a non-Jewish Ukrainian adopting him in 1947; attending school in Kiev; traveling to Kovno in 1950; reunion with an uncle; learning his sister was alive in Vilnius; joining her; military draft; visiting his Ukrainian adoptive father in 1958; marriage in 1960; the births of two sons; and his sister's emigration to Israel, then his six months later. Mr. V. notes not sharing his experiences, even with his children, since reliving them causes him pain, and attributes his survival to luck.

V., Ya'akov, 1931-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996
Interview Date
October 25, 1996.
Soviet Union
Kaunas (Lithuania)
Katowice (Poland)
Sosnowiec (Województwo Śląskie, Poland)
Kiev (Ukraine)
Kraków (Poland)
Vilnius (Lithuania)
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Ya'akov V. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3851). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-29 11:58:00
This page: