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Jacques R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4054) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Michel Bailly,

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4054

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    Videotape testimony of Jacques R., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1920, one of three children. He recounts his family's move to Anderlecht in 1924; his father working as a rabbi and mohel; attending public school and cheder; training for four years as a sculptor at the Academie Royale de Beaux-Arts in Brussels, then for six months with his grandfather as an engraver; German invasion; fleeing to De Panne; returning home; anti-Jewish restrictions; sculpting grave monuments; hiding his parents and sister with non-Jews in Sint-Genesius-Rode; obtaining false papers; arrest and interrogation in Avenue Louise; transfer to St.Gilles, then Malines in 1943; deportation by cattle car to Auschwitz/Birkenau; many deaths en route; transfer to Jaworzno; slave labor building barracks; brief hospitalization; a SS killing several prisoners, but sparing him upon learning he was a sculptor; sculpting the SS man's bust; privileged work as a sculptor for the camp commandant; sharing extra food with fellow prisoners that Germans gave him for engraving work; reassignment eight months later to hard slave labor; beating a higher ranking prisoner for revealing a sick boy who was hiding during work; public executions; hiding a fellow prisoner on Yom Kippur so he could pray for all of them; a death march via Laurahütte to Blechhammer; liberation by Soviet troops in January 1945; walking with friends to Bytom, then Częstochowa; relocation a month later by the Soviets to Starokosti︠a︡ntyniv; briefly escaping to Odesa; traveling to Berlin, then Braunschweig; repatriation to Hotel Lutetia in Paris, then Brussels; reunion with his family; his mother's death; marriage in 1964; divorce; and raising his two children. Mr. R. discusses intergroup relations in the camps; attributing his survival to his sculpting/engraving skills, and luck; willing himself to survive in order to see his mother again; retaining his belief in God; sharing his experiences with his family and children; nightmares about the camps; and many visits to Auschwitz, one with his children.
    R., Jacques, 1920-
    Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1995
    Interview Date
    November 8, 1995.
    Warsaw (Poland)
    Anderlecht (Belgium)
    Brussels (Belgium)
    De Panne (Belgium)
    Sint-Genesius-Rode (Belgium)
    Bytom (Poland)
    Częstochowa (Poland)
    Starokosti︠a︡ntyniv (Ukraine)
    Odesa (Ukraine)
    Berlin (Germany)
    Braunschweig (Germany)
    Paris (France)
    Cite As
    Jacques R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4054). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
    Other Authors/Editors
    Rosenfeldt, Michel, interviewer.
    Bailly, Michel, interviewer.
    This testimony is in French.

    Physical Details

    2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
    Physical Description
    1 videorecording (4 hr., 34 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Antisemitism Prewar.
    False papers.
    Aid by non-Jews.
    Mutual aid.
    Postwar experiences.
    Postwar effects.
    Hospitals in concentration camps.
    Survivor-child relations.
    Holocaust survivors. Video tapes. Men. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Jewish. Forced labor. Concentration camp inmates--Religious life. Concentration camps--Sociological aspects. Concentration camps--Psychological aspects. World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities. Death marches. Faith. Nightmares. Poland. Warsaw (Poland) Anderlecht (Belgium) Brussels (Belgium) De Panne (Belgium) Sint-Genesius-Rode (Belgium) Bytom (Poland) Częstochowa (Poland) Starokosti︠a︡ntyniv (Ukraine) Odesa (Ukraine) Berlin (Germany) Braunschweig (Germany) Paris (France) Oral histories (document genres) R., Jacques,--1920- Malines (Concentration camp) Auschwitz (Concentration camp) Birkenau (Concentration camp) Jaworzno (Concentration camp) Laurahütte (Concentration camp) Blechhammer E/3 (Concentration camp) Hotel Lutetia (Paris, France)

    Administrative Notes

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

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