Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Fishel R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3881)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3881

Videotape testimony of Fishel R., who was born in Łódź, Poland in 1917, the fifth of eight children. He recounts studying to be an engraver until age sixteen; a factory job in that trade; his father's death in 1939; German invasion; a failed attempt to flee with his brother; anti-Jewish restrictions; ghettoization; volunteering for work in Germany six months later to help support his family; deportation to Brójce; slave labor constructing roads; hospitalization in Świebodzin; visits from camp friends; giving them his extra food; transfer to Grunow-Spiegelberge, also doing road construction; working for local farmers and as the camp doctor's aide; transfer in mid-1942 to Eberswalde; improved conditions; assignments in the laundry and as a doctor's assistant; receiving letters from home; prisoners of war sharing potatoes; French POWs offering to hide him; transfer to Auschwitz/Birkenau in summer 1943, then two days later to Buna/Monowitz; slave labor for I. G. Farben; he and a friend obtaining extra soup with gold they had found; trading found goods with Polish civilian workers for food and medication; a beating when he was caught; frequent public hangings; learning his family had arrived in Auschwitz; transfer to Gleiwitz; train transport to Buchenwald; Czechs throwing them food en route; transfer two weeks later to Langenstein; many prisoners being wounded in an Allied bombing en route; slave labor in a quarry for a month; a death march; escaping with a friend; assistance from local Germans; liberation by Soviet troops; returning home; retrieving family photographs from his destroyed home; reunion with two sisters; meeting his future wife; moving to the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp; marriage; his uncle in England arranging their emigration to join him; and emigration to join his wife's mother and brother in Israel three years later. Mr. R. notes only he, two sisters, and two uncles survived from his large extended family. He shows photographs.

R., Fishel, 1917-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1997
Interview Date
January 9 and January 16, 1997.
Łódź (Poland)
Świebodzin (Województwo Lubuskie, Poland)
Czech Republic
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Fishel R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3881). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.