Polish Jewish schoolchild in Plock, Poland, 9/1939-9/1940; inmate in Plock and Suchedniow Ghettos, Poland, 9/1940-9/1942; forced labourer in Skarzysko-Kamienna Labour Camp, Poland, 9/1942-7/1944; inmate in Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Germany, 8/1944-9/1944; forced labourer in Schlieben Subcamp, Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Germany, 9/1944-4/1945; inmate in Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, Czechoslovakia, 4/1945-5/1945
REEL 1 Background in Plock, Poland, 1926-1939: family; education; anti-Semitism experienced; family business; question of loyalty to Poland; anti-Semitism in pre-war Poland; family's Zionist sympathies and religious practices. Aspects of German invasion of Poland, 9/1939: reaction to outbreak of war, 9/1939; German air raid on Plock; sight of destruction of Gabin; expectation of British and French help; initial impressions of German troops. Aspects of period as schoolchild in Plock, 1939-1940: confiscation of Jewish property; Germanisation of town.
REEL 2 Continues: confiscation of father's business; confiscation of property from family home; restrictions on Jewish movement; beatings of Jews on streets. Aspects of period as inmate in Plock Ghetto, 9/1940-2/1941: smuggling food into ghetto; behaviour of Jewish Police; food rations; state of health of ghetto inmates; treatment of inmates by German guards; obligation to work for Germans and treatment of workers; maintenance of morale; religious practice; deterioration of conditions in ghetto, early 1941.
REEL 3 Continues: liquidation of ghetto, 2/1941. Aspects of period at Suchedniow Ghetto in Poland, 3/1941-9/1942: move into ghetto; obtaining food from outside ghetto; escaping from ghetto; transportation of mother to Treblinka Extermination Camp, 9/1942. Recollections of period as inmate in Skarzysko-Kamienna Labour Camp, Poland, 9/1942-7/1944: march to camp; work duties; beating he received from Ukrainian guard for stealing potatoes; heavy labour; beating received from SS guard.
REEL 4 Continues: execution of people unfit for work; how his tooth was extracted; execution of escapers; suicides in camp; leaving camp, 7/1944. Aspects of period as inmate in Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Germany, 8/1944-9/1944: processing of inmates on arrival; effects of having hair shaved; work dishing out food. Recollections of period as forced labourer in Schlieben Subcamp, Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Germany, 9/1944-4/1945: lecture by camp commandant on arrival; work duties; bread and cigarettes received from German workman; kindness of German construction supervisor in quarry after an accident; Allied bombing raids on camp; suicide of fellow inmate; behaviour of female SS guard.
REEL 5 Continues: operation on hand without anaesthetic; news of progress of war; suspected sabotage of factory; opinion of camp commandant; evacuation of camp, 4/1945. Aspects of period as inmate in Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, Czechoslovakia, 4/1945-5/1945: conditions during train journey to camp; contracting typhoid; impressions of camp; liberation of camp by Soviet Army; death of former inmates from over eating; contracting mumps; Soviet attitude towards revenge against Germans; fate of family during Holocaust.
REEL 6 Continues: Aspects of period as inmate in Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Germany, 7/1944-9/1944: nature of camp; conditions during train journey to camp; lice problem; behaviour of inmates towards each other; inmate age groups that had better chance of survival; fatigue and question of survival; fate of Hungarian and German arrivals. Reflections on Holocaust experience: attitude towards Poles and Germans; effect of experiences on attitude to life; story of how Soviet Army soldier smuggled him from Poland to Czechoslovakia; initial impressions of GB on arrival.
One of the most memorable elements of the Holocaust Exhibition is the video testimony by survivors which accompanies visitors along the route. But what happened to the survivors after the Second World War? How did they rebuild their lives in the years that followed their release from Nazi persecution?
As the Allies advanced across Europe at the end of the Second World War, they came across concentration camps filled with sick and starving prisoners. The first major camp to be liberated was Majdanek near Lublin, Poland in July 1944.