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Pierre-Etienne E. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4042) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Nina Toussaint

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4042

Videotape testimony of Pierre-Etienne E., a Catholic, who was born in Ghent, Belgium in 1913, one of nine children. He recounts his family's very Catholic background; entering the abbey of Maredsous in 1931; studying at a Benedictine college in Rome from 1936 to 1939; Hitler's visit to Rome; ordination as a priest in 1938 at Maredsous; his family's and his colleagues' antipathy toward Nazism; mobilization into the military in September 1939 for a few weeks and again during the German invasion in 1940; evacuation to the abbey of Saint-André; traveling to his parents' home in Ghent; returning to Maredsous; continuing to teach there; denunciation in June 1942 by another priest for listening to the BBC; imprisonment in St. Gilles, then Avenue Louise; release two months later; continuing to teach at Maredsous; hiding two Belgian Resistants; arrest in June 1944; imprisonment at Namur; one person he was hiding being beaten to death for not revealing who hid him; transfer to Buchenwald; Masons standing guard when he and others celebrated Mass and standing guard for Masonic ceremonies; procuring holy wafers for the sick and dying; transfer to Blankenburg; a local priest supplying wafers for Easter; slave labor building tunnels; wholesale sabotage of the work by prisoners; train transfer to Beendorf; arrival in early April 1945; liberation two days later; repatriation to Belgium on May 1; returning to Maredsous; reunion with his parents; recuperating for three months from several illnesses; and his career in Belgium and Africa. Father E. notes not sharing his story and his belief he was protected by the Virgin Mary.

Author/Creator
E., Pierre-Etienne, 1913-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1996
Interview Date
March 27 and May 22, 1996.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Pierre-Etienne E. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4042). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.