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Michesław G. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3873)

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3873

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    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.
    G., Michesław, 1923-
    Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996
    Interview Date
    November 28 and December 12, 1996.
    Kraków (Poland)
    Litoměřice (Czech Republic)
    Berlin (Germany)
    Cite As
    Michesław G. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3873). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
    This testimony is in Hebrew.

    Physical Details

    2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
    Physical Description
    2 videorecordings (5 hr., 59 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Antisemitism Prewar.
    Postwar experiences.
    Mass killings.
    Mutual aid.
    Aid by non-Jews.
    Postwar effects.
    Survivor-child relations.

    Administrative Notes

    Link to Yale University Library Catalog:
    Record last modified:
    2018-05-29 11:42:00
    This page:

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