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Alexander B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4004)

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4004

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    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.
    Bratislava (Slovakia)
    Trnava (Slovakia)
    Wodzisław Śląski (Poland)
    Bad Ischl (Austria)
    Vienna (Austria)
    Prague (Czech Republic)
    Ústí nad Labem (Czech Republic)
    Merano (Italy)
    Cite As
    Alexander B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4004). 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
    1 videorecording (3 hr., 55 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Antisemitism Prewar.
    Mutual aid.
    Concentration camps Revolts.
    Aid by non-Jews.
    Postwar experiences.
    Survivor-child relations.
    Holocaust survivors. Video tapes. Men. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Jewish. Forced labor. Brothers. Brothers and sisters. Death marches. Concentration camp inmates--Family relationships. Revenge. Refugee camps. Israel-Arab War, 1948-1949. Czechoslovakia. Bratislava (Slovakia) Trnava (Slovakia) Wodzisław Śląski (Poland) Bad Ischl (Austria) Vienna (Austria) Prague (Czech Republic) Ústí nad Labem (Czech Republic) Merano (Italy) Palestine--Emigration and immigration. Oral histories (document genres) B., Alexander,--1925- Sered (Concentration camp) Majdanek (Concentration camp) Hlinkova slovenská l̕udová strana. Birkenau (Concentration camp) Auschwitz (Concentration camp) Mauthausen (Concentration camp) Ebensee (Concentration camp) Beriḥah (Organization) Backnang (Displaced persons camp)

    Administrative Notes

    Link to Yale University Library Catalog:
    Record last modified:
    2018-05-30 11:27:00
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