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Tomas K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4132)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4132

Videotape testimony of Tomas K., who was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (presently Slovakia) in 1929, the younger of two children. He recalls cordial relations with non-Jews; harassment by Hitler Youth starting in 1939; a German neighbor warning him when it was dangerous to go out; expulsion from school; not wearing the yellow star after being harassed for having it; eviction from their apartment in 1940; their landlord allowing them to stay briefly, then reporting them to Hlinka guard; confiscation of the family business; his sister being smuggled to Hungary when deportations started; his family entering Hungary illegally with paid smugglers; their relatives in Budapest refusing to shelter them, fearing for their own safety; his parents moving to a refugee camp (he and his cousin were released due to their young age); meeting his father at the railroad station in June 1944 when he learned his parents were being taken “to work” (they were deported to Auschwitz); his father advising him to go to the Swiss or Swedish embassies; the Swedish embassy sheltering him and providing him with Swedish documents; working for Raoul Wallenberg; Germans breaking into the embassy in January 1945 during the Soviet siege; a German soldier releasing him from a locked room, which saved his life; returning to the embassy after Soviet liberation; observing Wallenberg with Soviets (Wallenberg signaled him to stay away); returning to Bratislava; reunion with his mother (his father did not survive); some friends returning their possessions and others not; his mother persisting in the return of the family business; its nationalization in 1947; and sharing his experiences with his family. Mr. K. attributes his survival to his father's decision to send him away and the German who let him escape.

Author/Creator
K., Tomas, 1929-
Published
Bratislava, Slovakia : Milan Šimečka Foundation, 1997
Interview Date
January 23, 1997.
Language
Slovak
Copies
3 copies: 1/2 in. VHS submaster; Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Tomas K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4132). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.