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William M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1692) interviewed by Lidya Osadchey and Nancy Freed

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1692

Videotape testimony of William M., who was born in Cherniyev, Poland in 1925. He recalls a strict, Orthodox family life; extreme poverty; pervasive antisemitism; Soviet, Hungarian, and German occupations; forced transfer to the Stanislav ghetto; hanging of Jewish police, including his brother, for not delivering a required number of Jews; forced labor on a farm; smuggling stolen food to his family; digging graves for a mass killing, which he witnessed; obtaining a Polish birth certificate; escaping from the ghetto; traveling to Ozeri︠a︡ny, posing as a Pole; working for farmers; attending church to avoid disclosure; liberation by Soviet troops; violent conflicts between Ukrainians and Poles; being drafted into the Polish military; basic training in Moscow; posting to Katowice; deserting; fleeing to Ozeri︠a︡ny; returning to Katowice; working as a driver; learning of the concentration camps and that other Jews had survived; admitting he was Jewish; traveling to Regensburg with assistance from the Haganah; and emigrating to the United States in July 1949. Mr. M. discusses futile attempts to find surviving relatives; resolving his ambivalence about his Jewish identity; building a successful business; raising his children as Jews; and the importance of luck, common sense, and hard work to his survival.

Author/Creator
M., William, 1925-
Published
Houston, Tex. : Holocaust Education Center and Memorial Museum of Houston, 1991
Interview Date
January 8, 1991.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
William M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1692). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4284106
Record last modified: 2011-05-05 11:36:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4284106