Lydia C. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4063) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Nina Toussaint
- Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1997
- Interview Date
- April 21, 1997, October 6, 1997, and November 17, 1997.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Lydia C. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4063). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Lydia C., who was born in the Netherlands in 1931. She recounts living in Brussels from nine months of age; observing Jewish customs in their liberal home; her father's anti-Fascist activities; German invasion; a warning to leave due to her father's activities; fleeing with her parents and sisters through France; her father's opportunity to emigrate to England; his refusing to leave his family in Biarritz; living in a monastery with her mother and sister in Toulouse; a brief stay in Paris; living in a nearby refugee center for Dutch citizens (her father was the director); traveling to Lisbon, then Madrid; traveling by ship to Jakarta via Maputo and Durban; arrival on November 8, 1941; placement in a refugee camp until December 1; placement with her sister with a local family (their parents were placed elsewhere); her father's military draft; living with her sister in Bogor; Japanese invasion; return to Jakarta with their mother; placement in a Japanese concentration camp in Tjideng; learning her father was a POW; their transfer to a camp near Jakarta; lack of sanitation and food; slave labor; prisoners dying from malnutrition and illness; transfer to Tjideng, then a punishment camp; increasingly harsh conditions; transfer to Tangerang; religious instruction from a Jewish teacher; observing Jewish holidays; a large group of Iraqi Jewish prisoners; transfer to another camp; her severe illness; losing her will to live; assistance from a prisoner nurse; liberation in September 1945; and joining her father in Singapore in November.
Ms. C. recalls returning to Amsterdam with her sister; assistance from the Red Cross; living with her aunt; learning most of their family had perished, resulting in her "permanent tears"; attending school; her parents' return; her career as a dancer; marriage to a non-Jew; and continuing nightmares due to her experiences. Ms. C. discusses keeping a journal in the camps; her sense of total humiliation; relations between prisoner groups; strong family solidarity to the exclusion of group solidarity; death becoming routine; losing her ability to play; the importance of her mother to her and her sister's survival; not discussing their experiences; and her film and book, dealing with her experience, leading to discussions with her sister.