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Rene B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4228) Michel Rosenfeldt and Massimo Iannetta,

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4228

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    Videotape testimony of Rene B., a Catholic, who was born in Namur, Belgium in 1905, the elder of two sons. He recounts his father being killed as a soldier in the First World War; living with his grandparents in Limal; graduating from military school in Namur in 1924 as a cavalry lieutenant; marriage in 1931; his daughter's birth; serving in Limbourg; German invasion; retreat, then capture by German forces; release; returning home; recruitment by the Belgian secret army; moving to Brussels; working for the Red Cross; recruiting demobilized Belgian soldiers for the secret army; arrest in March 1943; incarceration in St. Gilles for six months; one interrogation; transfer to Breendonk; frequent beatings resulting in permanent damage; meaningless forced labor; transfer back to St. Gilles five months later, then to Essen and Esterwegen; slave labor sorting used shell casings; sabotaging the work; starvation; a priest clandestinely leading prayers; observing Christmas; attempts to maintain morale; transfer to Kaisheim, then Dachau; liberation by United States troops; helping identify Germans trying to hide among the former prisoners; repatriation; and his military career, including as a military attache in Paris. Mr. B. discusses camaraderie and friendships in the camps; satisfaction that those who tortured him in Breendonk were shot after the war; military honors he received; participating in organizations of former concentration camp inmates; and the importance of faith to his survival.
    B., Rene, 1905-
    Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1999
    Interview Date
    May 26 and 27, 1999.
    Namur (Belgium)
    Limal (Belgium)
    Limbourg (Belgium)
    Brussels (Belgium)
    Cite As
    Rene B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4228). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
    Other Authors/Editors
    Rosenfeldt, Michel, interviewer.
    Iannetta, Massimo, interviewer.
    This testimony is in French.

    Physical Details

    2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
    Physical Description
    2 videorecordings (7 hr., 18 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Mutual aid.
    Postwar experiences.
    Postwar effects.
    Concentration camp inmates. Video tapes. Men. World War, 1914-1918--Personal narratives, Belgian. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Belgian. World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Belgian. World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--Belgium. World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons, German. Prisoners of war--Belgium. Prisoners of war--Germany. Concentration camps--Sociological aspects. Concentration camps--Psychological aspects. Forced labor. Friendship. Sabotage. Concentration camp inmates--Religious life. Faith. Belgium. Namur (Belgium) Limal (Belgium) Limbourg (Belgium) Brussels (Belgium) Oral histories (document genres) B., Rene,--1905- International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Breendonk (Concentration camp) Esterwegen (Concentration camp) Dachau (Concentration camp)

    Administrative Notes

    Link to Yale University Library Catalog:
    Record last modified:
    2018-06-04 13:26:00
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