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Johann F. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4279) interviewed by Yannis Thanessekos and Jean-Marie De Becker

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4279

Videotape testimony of Johann F., who was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1937. He recounts his parents' divorce in 1939; living with his mother, a violinist; frequent visits from his father; a normal life, despite anti-Jewish restrictions; spending summers and Jewish holidays with his maternal grandparents and great-grandparents in Karcag; his uncle's draft into a Hungarian slave labor battalion in 1942 (they never saw him again); German invasion in March 1944; moving with his mother to his grandparents' home; their eviction; all of them living with his great-grandparents; ghettoization; non-Jews bringing them food; transfer to Szolnok six weeks later, a week later to Vienna, via Strasshof, then to a factory in Raasdorf; relatively humane conditions; celebrating Jewish holidays; his grandfather's appointment as head of the Jewish prisoners (there were Italians, Ukrainians and other nationalities); his mother giving him her meat ration; an office worker giving him sweets; assignment with the other children to collect coal dropped from freight trains; his grandmother's brief hospitalization in Vienna, where she heard rumors of extermination camps; abandonment by the German guards; liberation by Soviet troops; returning to Budapest; reunion with his father and other relatives; he and his mother living with his grandparents in Karcag from November 1945 to April 1946; all of them moving to Budapest; his father's emigration to Austria in 1949; his mother's remarriage; participating in student protests leading to the 1956 uprising; moving to Vienna; graduating from medical school; marriage to a Belgian; and emigration to Belgium. Mr. F. discusses relations between prisoner groups, and the importance of his mother to his survival and luck to the survival of his family.

F., Johann, 1937-
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 2001
Interview Date
March 29, 2001.
Karcag (Szolnok Megye)
Budapest (Hungary)
Karcag (Szolnok Megye, Hungary)
Vienna (Austria)
Raasdorf (Austria)
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Johann F. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4279). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.