Michael J. Holocaust testimony (HVT-763) interviewed by Dana L. Kline and Sara Moss Herz
- New Haven, Conn. : Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, 1986
- Interview Date
- August 5, 1986 and September 9, 1986.
- 3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Michael J. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-763). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Michael J., who was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1907. He describes family life before World War I; the Bolshevik revolution in 1917; famine, civil war, and pogroms which followed the revolution; his family's escape to Łódź, Poland in 1922; entering an engineering school of the Polish army in 1928; and working in his uncle's textile factory in Łódź until he was drafted in August 1939. He recalls the German bombings; the Polish army's retreat to Modlin; his arrest and transfer to a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany with his fellow officers; transfer to a camp in Prenzlau in May 1940, then to Hammerstein, where he remained until the end of the war. He speaks of the Jewish officers' efforts to preserve Jewish life in the camp; the antisemitism of the Polish officers; and learning of the deaths of his parents after his return to Łódź following liberation. In a second interview Mr. J. relates in detail life in the POW camp; its evacuation and forced march eastward; liberation by the Russians; his breakdown upon learning of his father's death; Polish antisemitism after the war; his twin brother's escape through Eastern Russia and Japan to the Caribbean; and his decision to emigrate to the United States. He expresses the thought that throughout his experience he was lucky and his gratitude to the many people who helped him.