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Arnošt L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4389)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4389

Videotape testimony of Arnošt L., a renowned Czech writer who was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (presently Czech Republic) in 1926. He recalls his family's poverty; attending a German kindergarten; his mother's orthodoxy; attending religious school at her insistence; antisemitic harassment; German occupation; anti-Jewish restrictions; deportation with his parents to Theresienstadt; developing pride in being Jewish; cultural activities; living in a Zionist barrack; developing deep friendships; observing communist and Zionist idealism; deportation to Auschwitz; assistance from fellow-prisoners; learning of the gas chambers; observing his father's arrival (he was immediately gassed); later seeing his mother from afar (she did not survive); a Nazi soldier providing extra food; the morality of communists in the camps; observing Soviet liberation of Prague in May 1945; sharing his experiences with those who were not in camps, but of being believed; joining the communist party which he later regretted; publication of his work; traveling to Italy with his wife in 1968; learning of the Soviet/Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia; moving to Israel, Yugoslavia, then the United States; and returning to Czechoslovakia twenty-one years later. Mr. L. discusses authors who influenced his work and those whom he knows; the profound impact of the camps on his life and work; his works based on his experiences during the Holocaust; themes in his writing; issues of translation; his desire to be buried next to his grandfather in Prague; and his belief that literature is his home. He reads from his writing.

L., Arnošt, 1926-2011.
Israel : Words & Images, 2004
Interview Date
November 20, 2004.
2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Arnošt L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4389). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-30 11:28:00
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