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Fridrich B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4122)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4122

Videotape testimony of Fridrich B., who was born in Lúky, Czechslovakia (presently Slovakia) in 1919. He recalls his family bakery; their orthodoxy, particularly his grandfather; confiscation of the bakery in late 1939 due to anti-Jewish laws; draft for forced labor in January 1940; working in Sabinov, Nováky, Prešov, Bratislava, Liptovský Hrádok, and Kežmarok; release and returning home in 1942; an evangelical warning him to flee and providing false papers; deciding to remain with his parents; deportation a few days later to Žilina, then Auschwitz/Birkenau; observing corpses everywhere; a privileged assignment working inside the barrack and distributing food; transfer to a building commando; almost dying of dysentery; observing cannibalism; assignment to a masonry school; receiving extra food; a camp official saving him from a punishment during which everyone was killed; a death march in January 1945 to Mauthausen; transfer to Melk; slave labor in tunnels; transfer two months later to Ebensee; becoming weak almost to the point of death; a camp official saving him; liberation by United States troops; prisoners killing kapos and other officials; fleeing with his cousin; returning to Bratislava, then his home; and joining his cousin in Trenčin. Mr. B. notes attributing his survival to his good health, remaining calm, assistance from friends, and luck; his fear in camps of being beaten to death; speaking with his wife at schools in California; and reading inaccurate memoirs about the Holocaust.

Author/Creator
B., Fridrich, 1919-
Published
Bratislava, Slovakia : Milan Šimečka Foundation, 1997
Interview Date
June 8, 1997.
Language
Slovak
Copies
3 copies: 1/2 in. VHS submaster; Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Fridrich B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4122). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.