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William S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4414) interviewed by Zelda Kaplan and Ann Solov Walker

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4414

Videotape testimony of William S., who was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (presently Slovakia) in 1920, the elder of two sons. He recounts his family moving to Prague when he was four years old; their relative affluence; summer vacations with grandparents in Bratislava and other locations; his and his brother's b'nai mitzvah; Passover celebrations in their home with extended family; attending a German gymnasium; German invasion on March 15, 1939; his father leaving for Hungary, due to his Hungarian citizenship, intending to send for them; having to vacate their apartment; deportation to Theresienstadt in 1941; his brother being sent to work on a farm; slave labor as a cook, with access to extra food; his mother's arrival in 1942, and his brother's in 1943; sharing extra food with them; deportation with his brother to Auschwitz/Birkenau in December 1943; assignment to the family camp; smoke and odors from the crematoria; receiving extra food for playing soccer with an official; transfer with his brother to Schwarzheide after eight months; clearing rubble from Allied bombings; a death march in early 1945; his brother supporting him when he was weak, thus saving his life; transfer by cattle car to Theresienstadt in April; being cared for by the Red Cross; their return to Prague; learning their parents had both died shortly before liberation; receiving food and an apartment from the Czech government; escaping to Germany after the communist takeover; living in Munich; working for the United States military; emigration to the United States after three years; bringing his fiancée from Munich; their marriage, divorce, and his remarriage; and a 1991 visit to Auschwitz/Birkenau.

Author/Creator
S., William, 1920-
Published
Peabody, Mass. : Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of the North Shore, 2008
Interview Date
March 19, 2008.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: DV Cam dub; and DVD.
Cite As
William S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4414). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.