Len D. testimony 1984 [video recording]
Date of Recording02 February 1984
Duration1h 43m 38.0s
SynopsisLen D. was born in January 1916 in Koblenz, Germany. He describes his family. He describes his education and not being allowed to attend university due to restrictions against Jews. He describes increased anti-Jewish regulations. He describes his business apprenticeship. Len recalls boycotts and the seizure of Jewish businesses including his and his father’s. He describes his arrest on Kristallnacht. He describes deportation by train to Dachau. He describes brutal treatment and conditions of the camp. He describes doing drills. He recalls how prisoners would try to escape and their subsequent execution. He describes how people died by deliberately running into the electric fence. Len describes his job collecting bodies. He discusses his release in February of 1939 and returning to Koblenz. He describes being smuggled into Holland and staying with relatives in Amsterdam. He explains that he was in contact with the underground and drew them plans of Dachau. He describes his arrest and deportation to Kleve, Germany. He explains that he was forced to bring proof of legal emigration or they would return him to Dachau. Len was able to receive papers from school friends in England. He describes travelling to London through the Netherlands. He discusses living on a farm in Fakenham sponsored by a Jewish organization. He explains how he was classified as an enemy alien and deported to an internment camp on the Isle of Man. He describes being transferred to the SS Ettrick along with German POWs. He describes the voyage and sanitary conditions. He recalls arriving in Quebec City and their reception by officials. He describes being transferred to Sherbrooke and building the camp. He explains how they were reclassified as refugees and visited by members of the Jewish Congress. He discusses his decision to stay in Canada. He describes finding employment in Hamilton. He describes receiving correspondence from his parents until they were deported to Theresienstadt. He describes volunteering for the Canadian Army and still being in training when the war ended. He discusses his life in Canada after the war. He discusses the fate of his family members and relatives. He discusses his fatalist attitude and religious beliefs.
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.