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Jan B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4204)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4204

Videotape testimony of Jan B., a Romani, who was born in Czechoslovakia in 1925. He recalls being raised in Sásová; his father's role as a village elder; all Romanies living in wooden houses; shopping in the store of a Jewish merchant; attending films, cultural events, and musical performances by Romanies; attending school; expulsion under the Slovak regime; training as a mason and working in construction; persecution of both Jews and Romanies; the Jews being forced to wear stars and confiscation of their property; a local priest hiding Romanies when police pursued them; leaving with other students in August 1943 to join the partisans; joining a Czech unit; camaraderie in his group between the many ethnic and national groups, including him and the one other Romani; being treated by a Jewish physician; serving in Banská Bystrica, then Turecká; moving frequently to Topol̕čany, Nitra, Bánovce nad Bebravou, Ilava and other locations; returning home in April 1944; learning from his sisters that six Romani families were shot by Hlinka guards in Kremnicka, including his parents, grandmother, two uncles, and their wives; identifying the Hlinka guard who betrayed his family, a man he knew from childhood; testifying against him at trial; marriage; reconstructing his family home; and improved living conditions and rights under the communist regime.

Author/Creator
B., Jan, 1925-
Published
Bratislava, Slovakia : Milan Šimečka Foundation, 1999
Interview Date
July 17, 1999.
Language
Slovak
Copies
3 copies: 1/2 in. VHS master; Betacam SP submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Jan B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4204). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.