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Lydia C. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4063) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Nina Toussaint

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4063

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.

C., Lydia, 1931-
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.
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Record last modified: 2014-02-20 09:56:00
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