Emrich G. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3883)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1997
- Interview Date
- Janaury 16 and 23 and February 6 and 28, 1997.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Emrich G. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3883). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Emrich G., who was born in Ivanka Pri Nitre, Czechoslovakia (presently Slovakia) in 1925, one of two children. He recalls cordial relations with non-Jews; attending a local elementary school; high school in Nitra; anti-Jewish laws in March 1939 resulting in school expulsion; training as a dental assistant; confiscation of the family business; deportation by Hlinka guard to Sered in March 1942, then a week later to Majdanek; slave labor building a camp; arrival of his uncle, then his father in April; arranging to be together; observing an officer smothering his uncle in mud; having to sing the “camp song” while marching (he sings it); volunteering with his father and other relatives for transport elsewhere; a prisoner assisting him upon arrival at Auschwitz; slave labor excavating land; an SS guard shooting his father; having to carry his body back to camp; losing his will to live; a cousin encouraging him; deciding to live to take revenge; a privileged assignment in the carpentry shop in summer 1942; assistance from a Polish political prisoner; Slovak women throwing extra food over the fence; sharing it with his relatives; injuring his hand; assistance from a German guard; hospitalization; selection for death; being exempted after Emil De Martini, a German prisoner, notified Dr. Eduard Wirths of his “medical” training; assignment as a medical assistant; improved food and living conditions; learning all his relatives had “disappeared”; increased responsibilities, including assisting in surgeries by mid-1943; and transporting prisoners from surgical castrations by Dr. Wladyslaw Dering.
Mr. G. recounts saving a friend by switching his registration card with a dead person's; transporting bodies of two hundred Polish officers who were shot in early 1943; having to bring patients to Josef Klehr for killing by injection (he testified against him after the war); envisioning his father's killing strengthening his resolve to survive despite constant exposure to killings and corpses; distributing smuggled medications; transfer to a laboratory in Rajsko supervised by Bruno Weber; discovering that shipments of animal meat from which he created cultures was human flesh; a beating for leaving a faucet open resulting in a flood; providing morphine to a German addict in exchange for food for his unit; burning all the files as ordered prior to the January 1945 death march to open train cars; posing as a non-Jew upon arrival at Mauthausen; transfer two weeks later to Ebensee; slave labor building tunnels; volunteering as a medical assistant; learning all prisoners were to be killed in the tunnels; spreading this information so no one entered the tunnels; abandonment by the guards; impromptu killings for revenge; liberation by United States troops the next day; traveling to Bratislava; retrieving a hidden Jewish boy; reunions with relatives; returning to Nitra; reporting the Hlinka guard who put him on a transport (he was not punished); moving to Teplice; marriage in 1945; training as a dentist; testifying at the Frankfurt war crime trials; and emigration to Israel in 1963. Mr. G. discusses many individuals connected with medical facilities in Auschwitz and Rajsko; sharing his experience in Czechoslovakia after the war; disinterest in it in Israel; and continuing painful memories and nightmares.