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Alexander B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4004)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4004

Videotape testimony of Alexander B., who was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (presently Slovakia) in 1925, the youngest of three children. He recounts attending a Jewish school through eighth grade; his father losing his business and their landlord forcing them to move due to antisemitism; round-up to Trnava in 1940; working as a non-Jew to support his family; deportation to Sered in fall 1941; beatings by the Hlinka guard; transfer to Majdanek; encountering a cousin and his brother-in-law; volunteering as a German translator; transfer to digging anti-tank trenches, then to Auschwitz/Birkenau for masonry training; encountering his brother (he later saw his corpse); a Polish prisoner arranging his transfer to food distribution; a beating for distributing extra bread; reassignment to a leather factory; assistance from fellow prisoners; encountering his sister, from whom he learned his mother was dead; the Sonderkommando uprising in fall 1944; an aborted escape plan with his sister; a death march to Wodzisław Śląski, then train transfer to Mauthausen; Czechs throwing them food en route; transfer to Ebensee; slave labor in the laundry, then digging tunnels for underground factories; liberation by United States troops in May 1945; recuperating in Bad Ischl; returning to Bratislava; reunion with his sister; moving to Vienna; volunteering to guard German prisoners in Ústí nad Labem; taking revenge by beating the prisoners; fleeing when his arrest was imminent; joining Beriḥah in Prague; living in Backnang displaced persons camp; meeting his future wife; transfer to Merano to provide military training to those leaving for Palestine; his emigration there in 1948; being wounded in the Arab-Israel war; and his military career. Mr. B. discusses not sharing his experiences with his children; the long process to receive German reparations; and visiting Czechoslovakia after learning he would no longer be arrested.

B., Alexander, 1925-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1998
Interview Date
May 22, 1998.
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Alexander B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4004). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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Record last modified: 2015-05-25 13:06:00
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