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Oral history interview with František Psota

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.439.30 | RG Number: RG-50.675.0030

František Psota, born 1927 in Topolany, Czechoslovakia (now part of Olomouc, Czech Republic), describes growing up in a multicultural society of Germans, Czechs, and Jews; the numerous mixed families in the Olomouc region; his uncle’s work as a keeper of the synagogue; his Jewish classmates; the lack of tensions between Jews and non-Jews until Hitler’s speech in September 1938 n how the Germans living in Czechoslovakia are being oppressed; seeing the vandalism of a Jewish-run factory in Hamburg, Germany; witnessing the burning of the synagogue on March 15, 1939 and its further destruction over a month’s time; Jews having to wear yellow stars and being restricted from restaurants; the gradual implementation of anti-Jewish measures; the barring of Jews from certain shops; the disappearance of his friend and classmate Neumann as well as other Jewish children from his school; the lack of discussion over the disappearing children; the disappearance of the director of the school Eduard Talafan, who was Jewish; the German Nazis who moved into the apartment that had belonged to Jews; his father having to prove three generations back that he had no Jewish ancestors; only knowing one Jew in Topolany who survived (Henry Zehr); doing forced labor in Germany along with many members of his family; how at the very end of the war there were rumors that Russian Army was approaching Olomouc and people went out to the streets with flags and were killed by Germans; his father’s death on May 8, 1945 during a bombing that destroyed his family’s house; and the partisans in Nová Ulice (now part of Olomouc, Czech Republic) who killed numerous Germans.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
František Psota
Adam Hradilek
interview:  2014 July 02
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-05-04 15:49:29
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