Leo K. testimony 1983 [video recording]
Date of Recording30 November 1983
Duration1h 55m 35.0s
SynopsisLeo K. was born in February 1913 in Rzeszów, Poland. He describes his family. When the war [First World War] broke out his family resettled in the Hague, Netherlands. He describes the Jewish community and his family’s observance of religious traditions. He describes travelling between Antwerp and Holland after his parents separated. He discusses the rise of the NSB and other fascist political parties in Holland. He describes interactions with the NSB party members and involvement in riots. He recalls his marriage. He describes mobilisation in the army in 1939. He discusses his business. Leo recalls the German invasion and not reporting for military duty following the occupation, should he be taken as a prisoner of war. He discusses the birth of his son and increased anti-Jewish regulations. He discusses how he started making preparations in anticipation of worse conditions. He describes receiving a summons and traveling to Gestapo headquarters in Amsterdam. He discusses meeting with the Joodse Raad who were working with the occupation government. He describes additional arrests and visitations to the Gestapo headquarters in Amsterdam. He describes his acts of resistance. Leo describes how his family received letters for deportation from Holland via Westerbork. He explains how his family went into hiding with the help of his business friends. He describes how he was separated from his wife and son. He discusses how his son was hidden with the Munnik family. He recalls nearly being caught by the Gestapo. He describes visiting his son when possible. He describes food scarcity and the black market. He describes his participation in the underground resistance by procuring ration cards. Leo describes the Jewish community that formed after liberation. He discusses helping survivors returning from camps. He discusses his decision to immigrate to Canada. He describes his life in Vancouver. He discusses returning to Holland and his refusal to accept German reparations. Leo shows documents and photographs.
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.