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Michael I. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1817) interviewed by Amit Dobkin and Dina Choshen

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1817

Videotape testimony of Michael I., who was born in 1917, one of seven children. He recalls his family's business in Warsaw and Falencia; attending yeshiva until age fourteen; participating in Akiba; becoming head of the Otwock branch; antisemitic violence; living on training farms (hachsharah) in Bełchatów and Siemiatycze; German invasion; fleeing to Ostrołęka, then Łomża; returning to his family in Otwock; fleeing to Soviet-occupied territory; traveling to Vilnius via Białystok and Hrodna; working at a hachsharah in Garliava; living in Kaunas; German invasion; fleeing to Ukmergė; posing as a non-Jew; returning to Kaunas, then Garliava; ghettoization in Kaunas; forced labor; assisting in organizing the resistance with Chaim Yellin; Itka Grinberg, head of the Jewish police, assisting him avoid deportation; arrest when traveling to Garliava; incarceration in the Ninth Fort; escaping with a group back to the ghetto; the Jewish police hiding the escapees in a bunker; Yellin, Grinberg, and Elkhanan Elkes, head of the Judenrat, meeting with them; joining an organized escape in trucks; joining a partisan group in a forest; killing collaborators for revenge; enlisting in the Soviet army; a Jewish general befriending him; returning to Kaunas; attending Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur services; volunteering for the police in Vilnius as a non-Jew; escaping en route to an assignment in Warsaw; joining groups planning illegal emigration to Palestine; Hashomer Hatzair assigning him to take children from Lublin to Bratislava to Vienna; assistance from the Joint; marriage in the Wels displaced persons camp; a circuitous route to Marseille; illegal emigration to Palestine; interdiction by the British; incarceration in Cyprus; transfer to a hospital in Israel when he was ill; and eventually living in a kibbutz. Mr. I. names many people when discussing details of specific events.

I., Michael, 1917-
Ramat Aviv, Israel : Beth Hatefutsoth, Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, 1986
Interview Date
April 7, April 17, May 20, and June 30, 1986.
4 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; Betacam SP restoration submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Michael I. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1817). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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Record last modified: 2014-12-08 14:46:00
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