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Yehuda B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4151)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4151

Videotape testimony of Yehuda B., who was born in Kaunus, Lithuania in 1927, one of three brothers. He recounts his family's affluence; summers with his family in Birštonas and Panemunė; attending Lithuanian school; participating in Betar; Soviet occupation in 1940; attending a Soviet camp in Palanga in 1941; German invasion; separation of the Jewish and non-Jewish children; confinement of the Jews in a synagogue; abuse and beatings by Lithuanians; return to Kaunus with the other Jewish children; his parents taking a boy whose parents had fled east; anti-Jewish restrictions; ghettoization; trading family possessions for food; clandestine participation in Betar; transfer with his family to the small ghetto in October 1941; he and his parents being led by Lithuanians to the Ninth Fort; being buried under corpses in a mass shooting; observing his mother covered in blood (both parents were killed); escaping from the mass grave; assistance from nearby villagers; smuggling himself into the ghetto; informing his brothers and grandmother of his experiences; their disbelief; escaping; hiding with his uncle's non-Jewish friend, then with a Lithuanian family in Muniškiai; and letters from his brother convincing him to return to the ghetto.
Mr. B. recalls building bunkers and weapons training with Betar; convincing a priest, his father's friend, to hide Jewish children; smuggling twenty-two of them from the ghetto to the priest; returning to the family in Muniškiai; encountering Soviet partisans; returning to the ghetto to organize a group escape; hiding during liquidation of the ghetto; denouncement; deportation with his brother and aunt to Stutthof; separation from his aunt; transfer to Landsberg; slave labor in a Messerschmitt factory; villagers giving them food; doing his brother's work and sharing extra food with him; his brother's death; losing his will to live; transfer to Kaufering; receiving a Red Cross package; assignment to the burial detail; observing cannibalism; a fellow prisoner feeding him when he was ill; escape from a train during Allied bombings; returning to Landsberg; liberation by United States troops; taking revenge on Germans; he and others beating a prisoner official in Munich; illegal emigration to Palestine via Modena, Magenta, and La Spezia; interdiction by the British; brief incarceration; serving in the military; and marriage. Mr. B. discusses nationality groupings in the camps and visiting the family house, the Ninth Fort, Muniškiai, the grave of the priest who hid the children, and other sites in Lithuania. He reads a poem.

Author/Creator
B., Yehuda, 1927-
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1998 and 1999
Interview Date
May 26, June 25, July 19, 1998 and March 18, 1999.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Yehuda B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4151). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4918791
Record last modified: 2016-05-02 13:03:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4918791