Benzyon W. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4058) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos and Michel Rosenfeldt
- Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1996
- Interview Date
- February 28, 1996.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Benzyon W. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4058). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Benzyon W., who was born in Sieniawa, Poland in 1928, the youngest of three brothers. He recounts his family's orthodoxy; antisemitic harassment; participating in a Zionist youth movement; moving with his family to Jumet in 1936; attending a public school and cheder; German invasion; briefly fleeing to France; anti-Jewish restrictions; his bar mitzvah at home since the synagogue had been closed; his father and brothers volunteering for forced labor in 1942, hoping to save him and his mother (he never saw them again); he and his mother hiding wiith non-Jews in early 1943; buying tobacco in Gilly for his host; returning home; arrest when he was out of the house (his mother went into hiding); imprisonment in Charleroi, then Malines; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau; selection to work in Monowitz; several slave labor assignments; taking clothing from a kapo to trade with Polish civilians for food; brief hospitalization; public executions; a death march to Gleiwitz; escape from a train during an Allied bombing; recapture; arrival at Oranienburg; a march to Flossenbürg; sneaking out of a group selected for execution; a privileged assignment washing windows; a death march; abandonment by German guards; receiving food from a German farmer; liberation by United States troops; assistance from the Red Cross; repatriation; beating the man with whom he traveled after learning he was a collaborator; reunion with his mother; assistance from the Joint; marriage in 1956; the births of his children; and moving to Israel in 1980 after his mother's death. Mr. W. discusses numbing himself in the camps, focusing only on his own survival; camp hierarchies; relations between national groups; pervasive painful memories and nightmares; not sharing his story with his wife and children until recently; writing a book; and attributing his survival to luck.