Albert V. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4253) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Patrice Van Laethem
- Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 2000
- Interview Date
- July 25 and 26, 2000.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Albert V. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4253). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Albert V., a non-Jew, who was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1921, one of five children. He recalls his family's antipathy to Germany due to his father's four years as a prisoner-of-war in World War I; attending boarding school in Blankenberge for five years, then teaching there beginning in 1936; German invasion in May 1940; draft into the Belgian military; release after capitulation; a government job in Brussels; one brother going into hiding when drafted for forced labor in Germany; mapping German bunkers for the underground; fleeing with a friend in May 1942, intending to join the army in England; arrest in France; imprisonment in Montjean-sur-Loire, Nevers, and Dijon; friendship with a Jewish prisoner; transfer to Hamburg as a forced laborer; a two-week leave after a year; returning home; joining the resistance (he did not return to Germany); creating false papers with a group in Brussels; arrest in August 1944; imprisonment in St. Gilles; transfer to Neuengamme; slave labor digging clay; a beating resulting in a permanent hearing loss in one ear; hospitalization for dysentery; a Belgian prisoner who organized the work assignments placing him in an inside job and giving him socks; joining the camp underground led by the Belgian job assigner; public hangings; maintaining hope he would survive; train evacuation to Lübeck in April 1945; receiving Red Cross packages; placement with French, Belgian, Dutch, and Luxumbourger prisoners on a transport to Sweden; a kapo being beaten to death en route; recuperating there for ten weeks; learning his sister and her child had been killed in a rocket attack; and a joyful return home. Mr. V. discusses relations between national groups in Neuengamme; the importance of group solidarity; nightmares for two years after liberation; not sharing his experiences until the 1970s; and speaking to school classes.