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