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Barna K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-304) interviewed by Maryanne Kador

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-304

Video testimony of Barna K., who was born in Debrecen, Hungary in 1912, the son of a Catholic mother and Reform father. Mr. K. tells of joining the merchant marines and experiences as a seaman; returning to Hungary after many voyages; being drafted; and attending officer candidate school. He describes his political naivete, particularly regarding Hitler; meeting his future wife (a Hungarian Jew) through friendship with her family; having to prove himself a "pure Aryan" to remain an army officer; commanding a Jewish labor battalion; and his efforts to protect those in his command from the abuses and atrocities he saw inflicted upon other Jewish battalions. He recalls walking from Hungary to Ostrogozhsk in the Soviet Union; refusing to obey what he considered illegal orders which would have resulted in atrocities against the Jewish battalions; returning to Budapest where he hid a number of Jewish families; return to the army in 1944 serving in Szerencs; going AWOL to Budapest; and the defeat of the Germans. He describes a reunion of his labor battalion after the war; his marriage; emigration to Israel; being honored by Yad Vashem for saving Jews and the importance of this to him; and his pride in his children and grandchildren. Mr. K. discusses his desire to help others; the insignificance of his life; and his sense that he would not change anything he has done.

K., Barna, 1912-
New York, N.Y. : Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, 1984
Interview Date
November 3, 1984.
3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Barna K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-304). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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Record last modified: 2011-05-05 16:48:00
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