Paul L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4074) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos, Genevieve Thyange, Marie-Pierre Antoine, and Michel Rosenfeldt
- Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1997 and 1998
- Interview Date
- November 3 and December 15, 1997, and December 1 and 3, 1998.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Paul L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4074). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony Paul L., who was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1910, an only child. He recounts his bar mitzvah; attending university; teaching statistics in Ghent; marriage to a Catholic; his daughter's birth in 1935; joining the Belgian Labor Party in 1932, then resigning in 1938; working as a journalist for Belgian radio; German invasion in 1940; his wife, daughter, and parents fleeing to France; broadcasting news from Ostend, then Poitiers; traveling to Toulouse; returning to Brussels, as had his wife and daughter; refusal to collaborate with the German-controlled radio; arrest; incarceration in St. Gilles; interrogation; a visit by his wife and daughter; transfer to Avenue Louise, then Breendonk; forced labor digging ditches; being beaten by Kommandant Philip Schmitt; prisoner shootings and suicides; bribing civilian workers to send letters to his wife; learning Radio Belgique in London had broadcast that he had been killed; his release so the Germans could discredit the London broadcasts; reunion with his wife; conversion to Catholicism; his wife fleeing to Sarlat; sending information to London for radio broadcasts; the underground arranging his flight to England via Lille, Paris, Dijon, Chalon-sur-Saône, Lyon, and Sète, where he visited his parents (he never saw his father again); continuing via Spain, Portugal, and Gibraltar; working at the BBC in London; traveling to Paris in 1944 as a war correspondent; returning to Brussels; entering Sachsenhausen and Dachau as a correspondent shortly after liberation; locating several friends in Dachau; returning with two of them to Belgium; helping locate Breendonk's Kommandant Schmitt; and reunion with his wife and daughter. Mr. L. discusses testifying in several war crimes trials; his careers in journalism, government, and academia; his leadership role at the Breendonk memorial; and sharing his experiences with his children.