Chaim L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4075) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos, Michel Rosenfeldt and Massimo Ianetta
- Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1996 and 1997
- Interview Date
- December 16, December 18, 1996, and January 13, 1997.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Chaim L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4075). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Chaim L., who was born in Szreńsk, Poland in 1923, one of six children. He recounts his family's poverty; moving to Mława when he was a child; attending a Jewish school; a customer of his father inviting them to move to Iłowo; attending a public school; antisemitic harassment at school; his mother returning to Szreńsk with four younger children; German invasion; fleeing with his older brother and father to Szreńsk; Germans murdering his father who returned to Ilowo to retrieve belongings; his father's burial; anti-Jewish restrictions; forced labor shoveling snow and other work in Ciechanów; returning home; ghettoization; public executions, including one of his relatives; his younger brother's illness and death; deportation of his grandparents and other relatives; two cousins' marriages (their deportation three weeks later); deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau; separation from his mother and sister; encountering a cousin; separation from his brother when he was transferred to Buna-Monowitz; slave labor for IG Farben; hospitalization; an operation on his leg; working in a clothing factory that used clothing from murdered Jews (he found valuables he could trade for food); sharing extra food with a friend and other fellow prisoners; his brother sending him a sweater; death march to Gleiwitz (his friend was killed en route); train transfer to Dora; slave labor in a weapons factory; a mass hanging of prisoners; train transfer; allied bombings resulting in prisoner deaths; arrival in Bergen-Belsen; liberation by British troops; Soviet prisoners taking revenge; traveling to various German cities, including Celle, Hannover, and Magdeburg, then a displaced persons camp in Hildesheim; traveling to Liege; marriage; moving to Brussels; finding his brother through the Red Cross; and reunion with him. Mr L. notes receiving reparations; sharing his experiences with his children, and visiting Szreńsk with his son; the importance of luck to his survival; and suffering from nightmares and physical maladies as a result of the camps.