Theo Z. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4084) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Nina Toussaint
- Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1996
- Interview Date
- November 13 and December 11, 1996.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Theo Z. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4084). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Theo Z., who was born in Kovelʹ, Poland (presently Ukraine) in 1923, the younger of two siblings. He recounts moving to Brussels in 1929; attending public school; cordial relations with non-Jews; learning tailoring from his father after completing high school; German invasion; fleeing to Revel; delivering to customers in Toulouse; briefly being drafted into the French army in Bressuire; returning to Brussels; anti-Jewish restrictions; briefly hiding; deportation to Malines in August 1942; transport the next day to Cosel, Ottmuth, then Kleinmangersdorf; slave labor constructing roads; keeping a journal; encountering French prisoners of war; transfer to Babitz in December; pervasive deaths; receiving extra food from kitchen workers; hospitalization; transfer to another camp; recovering with help from two French-Jewish prisoner doctors; transfer to Gross Sarne, then Ludwigsdorf in March 1943; slave labor in a munitions factory and unloading coal; a German civilian worker leaving him extra food; a weekly assignment burying the dead; transfer to Faulbrück, then Reichenback (Sportschule) and Langenbielau; finding cheese at a nearby farm and sharing it with others; transfer to Gross-Rosen in November 1944; confiscation of his journal; a public hanging; train transfer to Hersbruck; hospitalization; a death march to Dachau; identifying himself as a Belgian non-Jew, resulting in better conditions and receiving Red Cross packages; liberation by United States troops; repatriation to Brussels via Liège; reunion with his sister (she had been in hiding); recuperating in Andenne; starting a business with another survivor; and marriage in 1953. Mr. Z. discusses learning his parents had both been deported and did not survive; the camp hierarchies; the importance of the hope of seeing his father and help from others to his survival; continuing belief in God despite being assimilated; non-deportees not believing what he had experienced; sharing his experiences with his wife and children; continuing nightmares and hostility toward Germans and Poles.