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Robert M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4197) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos and Michel Rosenfeldt

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4197

Videotape testimony of Robert M., a Catholic, who was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1921. He recounts a half-brother from his mother's previous marriage to a Jew who was killed in World War I; visits with his half-brother to his mother's first mother-in-law; his father's death in 1929; participating in a Boy Scout group; assisting Jewish refugees from Germany; attending university; German invasion; fleeing to Rouen, Les Sables-d'Olonne, and Toulouse; his brother joining the French army; returning home; participating in the resistance through Group G; giving his identity card to a Jewish woman for the production of false papers; visits to his brother in Paris in 1942; stopping a train from Malines in 1943 to free Jews being deported; a neighbor warning him when he was returning home that the Gestapo was waiting for him; hiding with a cousin in Mons, then in Hatrival; returning to Brussels to again participate in sabotage; leading two unsuccessful sabotage operations; recruiting for Group G in Ardennes and Hainaut; sabotaging electrical lines in January 1944; arrest in March 1944; incarceration in Breendonk; interrogations and beatings; meaningless forced labor; deportation to Malines six weeks later, then Buchenwald, Dora, and Ellrich; a beating resulting in a broken arm, then pneumonia; transfer to Harzungen for treatment; slave labor building a tunnel; rehospitalization; a French doctor allowing him to stay for an extended period; receiving a Red Cross package; transfer to Bergen-Belsen in April 1945; many deaths en route; liberation by British troops; transfer to a camp for Belgians in Turnhout; and repatriation. Mr. M. discusses hierarchies and relations between political and national groups in the camps; being honored for his resistance activities; and his career in Congo.

Author/Creator
M., Robert, 1921-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1999
Interview Date
January 26 and 27, 1999.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Robert M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4197). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.