Robbie W. testimony 1984 [video recording]
Date of Recording04 April 1984
03 October 1984
Duration3h 2m 27.0s
SynopsisRobbie W. was born in Skarżysko-Kamienna, Poland in 1931. He describes his family and their religious life. He describes the Jewish community. He recalls antisemitic incidents. Robbie recalls the German invasion and public executions. He describes ghettoization. He recalls his father arranging for him to hide and how he rejoined his family. He discusses his mother’s deportation. He describes his brother smuggling him into a labour camp and recall his experience working in the factory. He describes sharing food and receiving help from a civilian worker. He recalls becoming ill and hiding in the camp. He speaks about his father arranging for Robbie's escape from the labour camp. Robbie then lived with a partisan group, but returned to the labour camp due to their antisemitism. He describes a transfer to another munitions factory in Częstochowa and forced labour digging anti-tank ditches along the way. Robbie describes his friendship in the camp. He recalls transfer to Buchenwald and being mistakenly classified as a political prisoner and receiving preferential treatment. He describes changes in his faith. He describes liberation by United States troops. He recalls receiving assistance and treatment from the Red Cross. Robbie describes transfer to Paris to live in an OSE orphanage for child survivors of Buchenwald. He discusses the behaviour of the children and receiving counselling. He describes emigration to Canada in 1949 with the help of the Canadian Jewish Congress. He describes life in Canada. He speaks about the importance of sharing his story and educating children. He discusses learning the fate of his family members.
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.