Saba B., Witness Testimony about Working on the Landsberger Lager-Cajtung (Retrospective, 1982)

Abstract

Videotaped testimony of Saba B., who was born around 1926. The excerpt describes her arrival at the Landsberg DP camp and her experience working on the camp’s newspaper, the Landsberger Lager-Cajtung. She explains that, despite her limited typing experience, she was recruited by the paper’s founder, Rudolph Valsonok. A lack of access to Hebrew type meant that Saba and other staff members initially had to use Roman type for their Yiddish-language newspaper.

Source

Transcription

Saba B.: [ . . . ] And I went to another camp, and I didn’t find anybody, but I found a Camp Landsberg. Well, I was very impressed because people were productive already. Took us a little while to find myself a job there.

Question: Was that a DP camp?

Saba B.: Mmhmm. I got myself a job there. Ah, there was one man who was a professional before the war, Dr. Valsonok. He was a Lithuanian; he was a journalist. He had a Ph.D. in journalism before the war. He came up with an idea to publish a Jewish newspaper. They needed a typist. I was not a typist, believe me. But at home we had a typewriter. Okay, I’ll be the typist. I didn’t know Jewish well enough to write it and we didn’t have type, Jewish type. So, I have that newspaper, too bad, I should have brought it, just to show it to you. Ah, I have from the first issue; I opened and I closed. We had been around a Jewish newspaper, Jewish words with Latin letters and an alphabet. One page. We got a press, a German press house that was issuing, making a German newspaper. And he allowed us to make our paper and gave us room. So that Dr. Valsonok was writing his articles, whatever, this one page, I was typing and half of the time I didn’t understand what I was typing, that man was educating me. To make it short, from that one page, after a while, we developed into a 36-page newspaper. And after a while, we got that Jewish type and a Jewish typewriter. For your information, I type on a Jewish typewriter, but I didn’t do it in a long time. [ . . . ]

Transcription: Elisabeth Mait

Source: Saba B., Witness testimony (HVT-270) [videorecording] / interview by Frances Ganz, August 23, 1982. Clip provided by the Fortunoff Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library, http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4293370

Zeev W. Mankowitz, “Two Voices from Landsberg: Rudolf Valsonok and Samuel Gringauz,” in Life between Memory and Hope: The Survivors of the Holocaust in Occupied Germany. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 161-91.

Saba B., Witness Testimony about Working on the Landsberger Lager-Cajtung (Retrospective, 1982), published in: German History Intersections, <https://germanhistory-intersections.org/en/knowledge-and-education/ghis:video-4> [May 14, 2021].