Jewish survivors of the Holocaust

Scott, Jack (1 of 4) Holocaust Survivors Centre Interviews

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  • Subjects

    Refugee from Nazi Europe

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    Holocaust Survivors Centre Interviews

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  • Interviewees

    Scott, Jack, 1924- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Goodman, Barbara (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Born Jacob Scloss, in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Father left for Belgium in 1933, as politically active. Jack lived with uncle until 1938; left for Brussels to join father who had political asylum. Attended carpentry school. Outbreak of war; Belgium nuetral. Germans invaded, 10th May; father arrested as enemy alien by Belgian authorities. Jack left with mother in refugee train for France. Interned in Rouen for 1 month then sent to camp near Nantes. 1940 sent to POW camp, had to dig sewers. Then allowed to return to Brussels. Decided to go to unoccupied France to join parents. Describes life as Jewish refugee in unoccupied France; rationing; undernourishment, working on farms. In 1942, parents sent to Auschwitz and gassed. Jack knew only that they had been deported east; hoped to be reunited again. Went to Auvergne as farm labourer, looked after by family. Narrowly escaped being caught by Germans; joined Resistance Maquis for 3 months in mountains. Crossed border into Spain, 1943, travelled to Morrocco via Gibraltar. Volunteered to join French army; told that as a German he could only join French Foreign Legion. Refused, and eventually joined Pioneer Corps of British Army. Went to Algiers with field hygeine unit, then to Italy where joined Commandos. Changed name. After VE day sent to Rimini as interpreter. Then to Eastbourne, England. Visited uncle in London who had escaped from Dachau. Went to Hamburg as sergeant in interpreter's unit. On leave in Brussels, found cousin who had been in hiding. Visited the farm in France where he had worked, and his birthplace in Germany. Demobbed; went to uncle in London. Learned watchmaking trade, worked for Accurist, married non-Jewish woman, had 2 sons. Now divorced. Sons not Jewish, but aware of father's history.

  • Related links

    Voices of the Holocaust - link to learning materials based on the moving stories of Jewish Holocaust Survivors on the British Library Website

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