Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Bessie and Jacob K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-206) interviewed by Laurel Vlock,

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-206

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward


    Videotape testimony of Bessie K. and Jacob K. Mr. K. was born in Zwoleń, Poland in 1923. Mr. K. describes his childhood in a close-knit, observant family; celebration of Jewish holidays; social closeness of the community; attending a Polish school; anti-Semitic incidents; the beginning of the war; and the destruction caused by bombing, including his home. He recounts increasing tension; anti-Jewish legislation; forced labor; extreme hunger and hardship; atrocities committed against the Jews; the final deportation from Zwoleń (which he and his brothers avoided); their work in Zwoleń cleaning up the Jewish sector; deportation to Skarżysko-Kamienna; the murder of one brother; deportation to Buchenwald where his other brother remained; his transfer to Schleiben; evacuation to another camp; and the death march from which he was liberated on May 8, 1945 in Sudetenland. He recalls seeking family; anti-Semitic incidents; living in refugee camps in Feldafing and Landsberg; meeting his wife; the reunion with his brother; living in Stuttgart; and emigration to the United States in 1949. Mr. K. reflects upon the personal scars caused by these experiences; the satisfaction of having raised two children and having lived a creative life in a free country; and the moral and ethical implications of the Holocaust.

    Mrs. K. was born in Vilna, Poland in 1924. She recalls a culturally rich childhood; harmonious relations with non-Jews; changes under Soviet occupation; moving to Kovno to live with her aunt until conditions improved; German occupation and ghettoization; her father's unsuccessful attempts to smuggle her back to Vilna; forced labor; and mass killings. She remembers her marriage in 1942; the birth of a son; separation from her infant in a selection; deportation by train to a camp in Estonia; her feeling of complete numbness and isolation; contracting typhus; surviving a selection with her aunt's and friend's help; liquidation of the camp; transfer by ship to Stutthof in Danzig; and surviving a final selection by posing as a non-Jew. She relates her experiences with the non-Jewish prisoners who protected her even though they knew she was Jewish; liberation by the Russians; and her feeling that she was the only Jewish woman left alive. Mrs. K. discusses her dismay that people knew what was happening and did not help; her reluctance to tell anyone about the loss of her child; psychological problems and the helpfulness of therapy; and her concerns for her children's futures.
    K., Bessie, 1924-2004.
    New Haven, Conn. : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1983
    Interview Date
    May 20, 1983.
    Vilnius (Lithuania)
    Kaunas (Lithuania)
    Zwoleń (Radom, Poland)
    Prague (Czech Republic)
    Zwoleń (Radom)
    Cite As
    Bessie and Jacob K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-206). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
    Other Authors/Editors
    Vlock, Laurel, interviewer.

    Physical Details

    3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
    Physical Description
    1 videorecording (3 hr., 38 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Jews Lithuania Kovno.
    Postwar effects.
    Antisemitism Postwar.
    Antisemitism Prewar.
    Mutual aid.
    Soviet occupation.
    Mass killings.
    Aid by non-Jews.
    Survivor-child relations.
    Husband Death.
    Marriage in Jewish ghettos.
    Holocaust survivors. Video tapes. Men. Women. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Jewish. Forced labor. World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Psychological aspects. Husband and wife. Mother and child. Children--Death. Jewish ghettos. Poland. Oral histories (document genres) Vilnius (Lithuania) Kaunas (Lithuania) Estonia. Zwoleń (Radom, Poland) Prague (Czech Republic) Jews--Poland--Zwoleń (Radom) Jews--Lithuania--Kaunas. Brothers. Pogroms. Death marches. K., Bessie,--1924-2004. K., Jacob,--1923- Landsberg am Lech (Displaced persons camp) Stutthof (Concentration camp) Skarżysko-Kamienna (Concentration camp) Buchenwald (Concentration camp) Schlieben (Concentration camp) Feldafing (Displaced persons camp)

    Administrative Notes

    Link to Yale University Library Catalog:
    Record last modified:
    2018-05-29 11:58:00
    This page:

    Additional Resources

    Librarian View

    Download & Licensing

    • Terms of Use
    • This record is digitized but cannot be downloaded online.

    In-Person Research

    Request Access from Yale University Libraries

    Contact Us