Jacques S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4077) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt
- Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1996
- Interview Date
- December 4, 1996.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Jacques S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4077). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Jacques S., who was born in Kraków, Poland in 1933. He recounts cordial relations with Catholic neighbors; his father liquidating their assets and buying diamonds; ghettoization; protection due to his father's supervisory role in the Madritsch factory; occasionally working in the factory; being smuggled out, with assistance from Jewish police, when the ghetto was liquidated; hiding alone in the factory for eight days; a non-Jewish woman bringing him food; being sent to hide as a non-Jew with a Polish family in the countryside; praying and attending church with them; the Polish father bringing him to join his parents, older brother, and aunt in Bochnia (the non-Jewish factory owners, Raimund Titsch and Julius Madritsch, had arranged their escape and they had false papers as non-Jews); immediate departure for the Czech border with paid smugglers; arrest in Liptovský Mikuláš; release of all the Jews (forty) in the jail after his father bribed officials; six weeks walking to Budapest at night; moving frequently; German invasion; paying a peasant in the countryside to hide them in a bunker; shopping for food with his mother (he spoke Hungarian and was blond); the peasant expelling them when his mother was spotted by locals; living outside of Budapest; and liberation by Soviet troops.
Mr. S. recalls traveling to the western zone; meeting Titsch in Vienna; living in the Ulm displaced persons camp; his bar mitzvah; moving to Paris and attending school for the first time in his life; emigration with his family to Israel in 1949; intense private tutoring for ten months; attending school; enlisting in the military; emigrating by himself to Canada in 1955 (his parents and brother left for Germany); returning to Israel; marriage; the births of two children; and emigration to Belgium in 1965. He notes the importance of the use of the diamonds to their survival; recurring nightmares resulting from his experiences; for years, having emotional difficulty discussing his story; sharing his story with his children; feeling at home in Israel; and becoming "normal" due to his army and sport experiences in Israel.