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Salomon R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4055) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos and Michel Rosenfeldt

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4055

Videotape testimony of Salomon R., who was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1925, one of two children of Polish émigrés. He recounts his father's death; attending a public school, and taking Yiddish courses; participating in Hashomer Hatzair; collecting food for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War; housing German Jewish refugees; German invasion; fleeing to Dunkerque; returning; antisemitic harassment by Vlaams Nationaal Verbond members; joining his brother-in-law in the resistance; distributing pamphlets; obtaining false papers; delivering underground newspapers to Brussels, Louvain, Nivelles, Jodoigne and other places; escorting people to Courtrai (Kortrijk); denouncement and arrest in 1941; interrogation in Courtrai prison; transfer to Antwerp; his family's arrest; their release and re-arrest later; solitary confinement in Bruges for several months; transfer to St. Gilles; receiving a Red Cross package; deportation to Essen as a “Nacht und Nebel” prisoner with his family; separation from his mother and sister (he never saw his mother again); transfer to Bochum; forced labor in a munitions factory; transfer to Esterwegen; a doctor treating him for dysentery; a prisoner constructing a radio; transfer to various prisons, including Hamm, then Auschwitz/Birkenau in 1944; transfer to Monowitz; hospitalization; working in a garden, and cleaning the latrines; receiving and sharing extra food; public executions; being beaten for stealing food from the kitchen; brief transfer to and from Birkenau; death march to Gleiwitz; a group of partisans attempting to free them; train transfer to Gross-Rosen, then Sachsenhausen; a sadistic prisoner official beating him; slave labor in a shoe factory; train transfer to Mauthausen, then Amstetten; slave labor repairing train tracks and disarming unexploded munitions; living in the tent camp; slave labor in the quarry; assistance from am German prisoner; transfer to Gunskirchen; liberation by United States troops; flying to Merville; recuperation in a hospital; traveling to Menen with assistance from the red cross; returning to Antwerp; living in a home for former underground members at Rixensart; reunion with his sister; and obtaining Belgian citizenship in 1947. Mr. R. notes how the camps were like “universities”; the prisoner hierarchy and relations; attributing his survival to luck and prisoner solidarity; participating in survivor and resistance groups; visiting Mauthausen with his wife; and suffering from nightmares.

R., Salomon, 1925-
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1996
Interview Date
February 19, 1996.
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Salomon R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4055). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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Record last modified: 2017-01-27 13:34:00
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