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Hans D. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4252) interviewed Michel Rosenfeldt and Patrice Van Laethem

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4252

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.

Author/Creator
D., Hans, 1935-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 2000
Interview Date
June 8 and 9, 2000.
Language
Dutch
Copies
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.