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Yoel S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4155)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4155

Videotape testimony of Yoel S., who was born in Rus, Romania in 1928, one of four children. He recounts attending a public school, cheder, then a Jewish school in Cluj in 1938; Hungarian occupation; anti-Jewish restrictions, including his school closing; his mother's death; attending carpentry school; returning home; his father's remarriage; deportation with his family to the Dej ghetto, then Auschwitz; separation from his father and younger brother; assignment with his twin brother to the twins barracks; a prisoner smuggling him to the Zigeunerlager (Gypsy Lager); transfer two weeks later to Buchenwald; useless slave labor; transfer to Rehmsdorf/Tröglitz; slave labor in the Brabag factory; encountering an English POW in a leadership position; the camp secretary assigning him a privileged position as servant to a prisoner in charge of a barrack; access to extra food and sharing it with others; frequent beatings by the barrack official; transfer to Dresden to defuse unexploded bombs; return to Auschwitz; train transfer and a death march to Theresienstadt; Czechs throwing them food en route; liberation by Soviet troops; assignment to a family in Prague, then an orphanage; searching in vain for his twin brother in Germany; traveling to Budapest, then Dej; reunion with his other brother; living with him for eighteen months; illegal emigration to Palestine via Burgas; seven month incarceration on Cyprus; enlisting in the Israeli military; marriage in 1955; and the births of two children. Mr. S. discusses his return to faith and orthodoxy when his son became more religious, and not sharing his experiences with his children until his wife's death nine years ago.

S., Yoel, 1928-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1999
Interview Date
November 11 and November 18, 1999.
Czech Republic
Rus (Sălaj, Romania)
Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Budapest (Hungary)
Dej (Romania)
Burgas (Bulgaria)
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Yoel S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4155). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.