Hans D. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4252) interviewed Michel Rosenfeldt and Patrice Van Laethem
- Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 2000
- Interview Date
- June 8 and 9, 2000.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Hans D. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4252). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Hans D., who was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1935, an only child in an assimilated household. He recalls warm relations with his extended family; his parents' businesses; attending a Jewish school; German invasion; visiting Rotterdam after it was destroyed by German bombing; anti-Jewish restrictions; his father transferring businesses to non-Jews; his father obtaining a permit exempting them from deportation; his father and uncle disappearing when out for business (they never saw them again); deportation with his mother to Westerbork in fall 1942; vainly hoping his father was there; playing when his mother worked; exemption from deportation due to their permit; deportation to Bergen-Belsen a year later; encountering his uncle, aunt, and cousin; his mother giving him a spoon of sugar and drops of gin daily from her hidden store; their Dutch barrack leader providing him with extra food; his work assignment with other children moving stones and corpses; becoming inured to corpses; making a game of aiming stones into the mouths of corpses; brief hospitalization; arrival of prisoners from other camps; train evacuation on April 10, 1945; liberation by Soviet troops after about two weeks; finding food in a nearby town; bringing some back to his mother; her hospitalization; transfer to Berlin; hospitalization; Red Cross assistance; repatriation to Maastricht, then Amsterdam; placement in a children's home in Bussum; recuperation from tuberculosis with a family in Switzerland and at a sanitarium for a year in Davos; returning to Amsterdam; attending school, the first time since pre-school; his mother's problems retrieving their assets; living in Israel for a year with his aunt; emigrating to the United States in 1965; serving in the U.S. military; posting in Germany for two years; becoming a U.S. citizen; marriage; his daughter's birth; and working in Wall Street firms in Brussels. Mr. D. discusses not sharing his experiences until he visited Auschwitz and nightmares resulting from his experiences.