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Maurice B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4249) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Patrice Van Laethem

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4249

Videotape testimony of Maurice B., a non-Jew who was born in Jemappes, Belgium in 1924, the older of two brothers in a working class family. He recounts his father's activism in leftist and labor movements; working in his father's factory at 15; German invasion; fleeing to France for several days; returning; the disappearance of Jewish classmates; volunteering for work in a factory in Germany in 1943; an Allied bombing; rescuing a German woman from the rubble; receiving a reward and a furlough; returning to Belgium; hiding at his aunt's house; joining the resistance; learning his father was also a member; hiding Allied soldiers, distributing funds to operatives, and other activities; being arrested in Jemappes; his release; using false papers; being chased, wounded and arrested by the Gestapo in July 1944 (one of his friends was killed during the chase); interrogation and torture; transfer to Namur; a sham trail, deportation to Neuengamme in September; forced labor; transfer to Mauthausen; many deaths en route; slave labor in the quarry; Germans forcing Jews to push their family members to their deaths; contemplating suicide; relationships between different nationalities in the camp; transfer to Gusen; slave labor in a tunnel, a workshop, and briefly repairing the crematorium; interrogation and beating; assistance from fellow prisoners; hospitalization; narrowly escaping a selection; medical experiments on prisoners; public executions; observing signs of cannibalism; transfer to Mauthausen's hospital; liberation by United States troops; returning to Belgium; hospitalization in a Red Cross hospital; reunion with his parents; undergoing several operations; and marriage to a nurse in 1953. Mr. B. discusses his inability to have children; suffering nightmares; the lack of understanding from those who were not in the camps; participating in a survivor organization; visiting Mauthausen; and receiving awards for his service in the resistance. He shows a spoon from the camps; and reads from the letter he sent his parents after liberation.

Author/Creator
B., Maurice, 1924-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 2000
Interview Date
February 28, February 29, and March 3, 2000.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Maurice B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4249). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.