Chaim D. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3993)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1998
- Interview Date
- February 5 and March 4, 1998.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Chaim D. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3993). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Chaim D., who was born in Neresnyt︠s︡i︠a︡, Czechoslovakia (presently Ukraine) in 1930, one of four children. He recounts attending cheder and public school; Hungarian occupation; antisemitic harassment; his father's deportation (they never saw him again); his siblings moving to Budapest; assistance from the Joint; German invasion in spring 1944; his siblings return; deportation with his family to the Mátészalka ghetto, then five weeks later to Auschwitz/Birkenau; separation with his brother from his mother and sisters; transfer to Buchenwald a few days later; slave labor constructing a Brabag factory in Zeitz; Allied bombings; a privileged assignment outside the camp (they could obtain extra food); rabbis leading prayers; Czech and Italian prisoners of war sharing Red Cross packages with them; deteriorating conditions with increased bombings; separation from his brother when he was returned to Buchenwald due to his weakness; hospitalization; and a Czech prisoner-doctor caring for his group of young people, then hiding them in a brothel during evacuation.
Mr. D. recalls liberation by United States troops; transfer to an orphanage in Prague; reunion with two cousins; learning his brother had not survived; traveling to Budapest; reunion with his sister; their brief return to Neresnyt︠s︡i︠a︡; joining a group preparing to emigrate to Palestine; assistance from the Joint; traveling with Beriḥah to Prague; his sister's emigration to Palestine; hospitalization; rejoining his group in Landsberg displaced persons camp; their move to Holzhausen; assistance from UNRRA; illegal emigration with his group by ship in 1947; interdiction by the British; incarceration on Cyprus for six months; reunion with his sister; participation in the 1948 war; marriage to a survivor; their seven biological and ten adopted/foster children; and teaching agriculture in Zaire (Congo) and Kenya. Mr. D. discusses relations between prisoner groups; his and his brother's focus on survival; building his new family in Israel; and sharing his story with his children without burdening them.