Isaac S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4080) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Yannis Thanassekos
- Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1997
- Interview Date
- October 20 and December 8, 1997.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Isaac S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4080). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Isaac S., who was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1925 to Turkish parents, one of six children. He recounts speaking Ladino at home; tensions between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews; participating in a Zionist group with his brother Haim; German invasion; two brothers briefly fleeing to France; exemption from anti-Jewish restrictions as Turkish citizens; working with the resistance group Mouvement National Beige, hiding Jewish families and distributing underground newspapers and false papers; several arrests, then release as a Turkish citizen until 1943; his brother Haim's arrest, then his a month later; deportation to Malines, then with his father to Buchenwald; slave labor in a quarry; protecting his father from the heaviest work; being advised to volunteer as masons; solidarity among communist prisoners who ran the camp benefiting him and his father; frequent public hangings; non-Jewish prisoners sharing Red Cross packages with the Jews; hiding to avoid transfer; a death march then train transport to Dachau; liberation on April 29, 1945, the day after their arrival; many deaths from eating; hospitalization for typhus; convalescing in Reichenau and Davos; returning to Brussels; learning his father had died; reunion with his brothers, then with his mother and sisters after their return from Turkey; joining a hachshara; traveling to Lyon and La Ciotat with his group; illegal emigration to Palestine; interdiction by the British; incarceration in Famagusta, Cyprus; release; living on a kibbutz; finding no one was interested in his experiences; visiting his mother before her death in 1950; returning to Belgium in 1951; marriage; several different careers; helping Algerian emigres; and becoming a Belgian citizen. Mr. S. discusses bonding with his father in Buchenwald; the camp hierarchy; and his determination to adapt to camp life.