Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research

Login

Register

Help

Skip to main content

Joseph H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4046) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos and Michel Rosenfeldt

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4046

Videotape testimony of Joseph H., a Catholic, who was born in Paliseul, Belgium in 1917, one of two sons. He recounts his mother's death in 1921; living with an aunt in Bastogne; attending school in Boullion (his neighbor was Léon Degrelle); living in Sugny; enlisting in the military in 1936; assignment to barracks in Liège; marriage in June 1939; German invasion; his wife fleeing to England; brief capture as a prisoner of war; returning to Antwerp; recapture; forced farm labor in Meldorf; release; joining his father in Bastogne; repairing radios to provide access to the BBC; hiding members of the Resistance and escaped French and British POWs; being warned his arrest was imminent; fleeing to Paris; joining the Resistance; transmitting coded messages; arrest in March 1943; incarceration in Fresnes; interrogation and beatings; praying in his cell; deportation to Neuenbremme six months later; receiving a Red Cross package; befriending a Jewish prisoner; assisting Jews (they were treated more harshly); transfer to Mauthausen eight days later in September 1943; separation of Jewish prisoners; a privileged assignment doing errands; friendship with an English prisoner; building a wall with him so that it would later collapse; the Communists organizing extra food for the weakest; transfer to Schwechat in January 1944; slave labor in an airplane factory; return to Mauthausen in June; hospitalization; transfer to Natzweiler-Struthof, then Dachau; hospitalization; liberation by United States troops; repatriation with Red Cross assistance; reunion with his father and brother; his wife's return; divorce; and remarriage in 1958. Mr. H. discusses survival strategies; relations between national groups and the camp hierarchy; an eating disorder and hostility toward Germans due to his experiences; sharing humorous stories with fellow prisoners, who remain close friends to the present time; and suffering more now from his experiences than in the camps where he willed himself to “live outside of it.”

Author/Creator
H., Joseph, 1917-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1996
Interview Date
October 16, 1996.
Locale
Belgium
Germany
France
Paliseul (Belgium)
Bouillon (Belgium)
Sugny (Belgium)
Liège (Belgium)
Antwerp (Belgium)
Meldorf (Germany)
Bastogne (Belgium)
Paris (France)
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Joseph H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4046). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
 
View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4676657
Record last modified: 2018-06-04 13:30:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4676657