Michesław G. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3873)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996
- Interview Date
- November 28 and December 12, 1996.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Michesław G. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3873). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Michesław G., who was born in Kraków, Poland in 1923, one of two children. He recounts his father's business transporting coal; their poverty; his sister's birth in 1930; assisting in his father's business; antisemitic harassment by Poles; German invasion; a futile attempt to flee east; working with his father delivering flour for the Germans; ghettoization; he and his father smuggling goods while making deliveries; both being interrogated and beaten but not confessing; their release; passing as a non-Jew outside the ghetto (he spoke perfect Polish and was blond); round-ups and deportations; being assigned to take corpses from a mass killing at the hospital to Płaszów; negotiating to prevent his mother's deportation; frequent encounters with his father; an unsuccessful attempt to hide friends from deportation; deportation with his family to Płaszów; separation from his mother and sister; mass killings; slave labor in a warehouse, then the SS kitchen, which provided him with extra food; smuggling food; narrowly escaping being shot by Kommandant Amon Göth; public hangings; deportation of his mother and sister (he never saw them again); deportation to Auschwitz in January 1945; a death march two days later to Oranienburg; transfer to Flossenbürg; a former guard from Płaszów giving him a loaf of bread; transfer to Dresden, Leitmeritz, then Theresienstadt; liberation by Soviet troops; hospitalization in Litoměřice; joining his father in Feldafing; assistance from UNRRA; searching in vain for his mother for months; and returning to Feldafing via Berlin. Mr. G. discusses writing a letter on behalf of a guard who had helped him; not sharing his story, even with his wife and children, due to pervasive painful memories and nightmares; the impossibility of trying to “expel his memories from his brain”; and testifying at a war crime trial in Hamburg.