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Bernard E. Holocaust testimony (HVT-289) interviewed by Gabriele Schiff and Miriam Forman

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-289

Videotape testimony of Bernard E., who was born in Berlin, Germany in 1925. He recounts his father's World War I service; his family's prosperous business; attending public school; restrictions in the 1930s which eased in 1936 during the Olympics; his father's deportation to Zba̜szyń; Crystal Night; his bar mitzvah in December 1938 and his father's letter to him then; his father's return in July 1939; and the family's move to Sambor in August. Mr. E. relates the outbreak of war; Russian occupation; German invasion on June 22, 1941; and mass murders of Jews immediately following. He describes being hidden by a Polish woman in her attic from which he and his father witnessed Jews digging their own graves; ghettoization; repairing bicycles for the Germans which supported his family; hiding with others during a round-up; their discovery; separation from his mother, siblings and family whom he never saw again; his father's assignment to another work detail and subsequent death; and transfers to Drohobych, Płaszów, Auschwitz, Mauthausen, and Linz, where he was liberated by Americans in May 1945. He recalls transfer to Sweden for recovery; and returning to Germany in 1967 to testify at a war crimes trial. In this unusually detailed testimony Mr. E. reflects upon the brutalities he witnessed and his hopes and doubts that the world might learn something.

Author/Creator
E., Bernard, 1925-
Published
New York, N.Y. : Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, 1984
Interview Date
June 24, 1984.
Language
English
Copies
3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Bernard E. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-289). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.