Elazar S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3871)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996
- Interview Date
- November 15 and December 6, 1996.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Elazar S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3871). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Elazar S., who was born in Kraków, Poland in 1924, the elder of two children. He recalls his sister's birth in 1931; attending private Hebrew schools; antisemitic harassment; his father's communal leadership role, including in Zionist organizations; attending a Zionist congress with him in Switzerland in 1935; assisting German-Jewish refugees; German invasion in September 1939; anti-Jewish restrictions; his father briefly fleeing; his arrest a week after his return; notification of his death in December 1940; Mr. S. receiving assistance from his Polish nanny; his mother apprenticing him as a bookbinder; ghettoization in March 1941; entrusting valuables to his nanny; working in a book bindery, then in a German automobile garage; deportations, one of which included his mother; placing his sister with a neighbor; transfer to Płaszów in March 1943; learning his sister had been killed; slave labor in a paper factory; random killings by Kommandant Amon Göth; public hangings; failing health resulting in his losing hope of survival; developing an escape plan with a friend; hiding beneath barracks for several days; he and his friend crawling under the fences at night; being shot; hiding in a grain storage bin, then with his nanny (she removed the bullet, fed, and clothed them); living with another former Polish employee (his friend went elsewhere); the nanny selling his family valuables to obtain funds and false papers for him, and arranging with the underground for his escape to Hungary; traveling to Piwniczna tied under a freight train; smugglers taking him with a group to Prešov, Košice, then by train to Budapest; living in Balatonboglár as a non-Jew; meeting French prisoners of war who were planning an escape to Turkey; promising to join the French Foreign Legion to join them; traveling with them to Edirne; an Israeli representative negotiating his release from the group; and legal emigration to Palestine in March 1944. Mr. S. discusses his career as a biochemist; sharing his story with his children and grandchildren; visiting Poland with his family in 1986; and believing his successful life and family are his form of revenge. He shows photographs and documents.