SynopsisJack R. was born in Brussels, Belgium on November 7, 1933. He describes his family and ten other siblings. Jack describes how his father died when Jack was very young and how he and his siblings helped to support the family. He describes his family’s fear of the Gestapo. He describes his family being turned in and Jack escaping. He recalls an incident where a neighbour refused him aid. He recalls walking with his family to the Maginot Line and finding it partially dismantled. His family returned and he recalls his siblings being split up to go into hiding. Jack recalls being placed in D’Ixelles children’s home and describes abuse in the orphanage. He recalls being sent with two siblings to a castle–“La Bas”–where other Jewish children were hidden. He describes delivering messages for the underground. He describes the Gestapo discovering the castle and giving children time to leave. Jack describes going into hiding with a non-Jewish couple. Jack describes learning about what happened to his mother and siblings during the war and their deaths. He describes reuniting with his surviving siblings. Jack recalls planning to go to Israel with his brother after the war. He describes seeking admission to Canada in 1947 under the Jewish War Orphans Project. He discusses his birthdate. Jack describes seeking information about his past and the difficulty discussing the past. He discusses guilt. He discusses his faith. He discusses sharing his experiences with his son. He discusses the importance of sharing his testimony.
RightsHolocaust Documentation Project | The University of British Columbia | Consent to Record and Retain Records (fn: Under the auspices of the Standing Committee on the Holocaust and Canadian Jewish Congress - Pacific Region) on file
NoteAccess copy of digitized video has been edited to remove content as requested by interviewee.
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.