Nisan R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3193) interviewed by Yoram Amit and Maia Pasalski,
Videotape testimony of Nisan R., who was born in Katerynoslav, Ukraine (presently Dnipropetrovsʹk) in 1918, the youngest of seven children. He recounts his family's orthodoxy; moving to Davyd-Haradok, then Pinsk; attending religious school, then Polish gymnasium; a Hasidic rabbi officiating at his bar mitzvah; participating in a Zionist youth group; Soviet occupation; traveling with his youth group to Vilnius; assistance from the Joint and Hadassah; establishing a training farm; trying to establish routes for emigration to Palestine; Soviet invasion; his mother's visit; German invasion; ghettoization; cleaning German offices; “stealing” permits to distribute to Zionists and forge false papers; marriage; representing No'ar ha-Tsiyoni in the formation of a united resistance organization (FPO) of all the Zionist groups; obtaining weapons for the FPO with approval from Jacob Gens, head of the Judenrat; assistance from non-Jews, including a German officer, Anton Schmidt; Yiżḣak Wittenberg's surrender; armed resistance when the liquidation of the ghetto was imminent; a joint decision to organize escapes to join partisans; his escape with his wife to the Naroch forest; blowing up trains; killing collaborators and Germans (his form of revenge); antisemitic violence by non-Jewish partisans; and liberation by Soviet troops.
Mr. R. recalls returning to Vilnius; traveling to Pinsk, then Rivne; learning his entire family had been murdered; participating in the organization of illegal emigration to Palestine; returning to Vilnius; fleeing from the NKVD to Lida; organizing refugees in Lublin, Kraków, Warsaw, and Humenné; traveling to Bucharest, then to Treviso via Budapest and Austria, with assistance from the Jewish Brigade; organizing kibbutzim; assistance from the Joint; participating in a Zionist conference in Paris in 1946, where he met Abba Hillel Silver; his daughter's birth in Rome; illegal emigration to Palestine in 1947; fighting in the Israeli independence war; capture by Egyptian troops; imprisonment in Gaza; mistreatment by Egyptian guards; release six months later; his second daughter's birth; representing Israel in Argentina from 1951-1953; leaving their kibbutz to continue his education; and his wife's death. Mr. R. discusses many of the leaders of the FPO and partisans; his relationships with them; relationships among a variety of organizations including Nekamah and Voroshilov; his criticism of Yitzhak Zuckerman's book about Jewish resistance; visiting Vilnius in the 1980s; and not sharing his experiences with his children.
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1990
- Interview Date
- December 11, 1990.
Rivne (Rivnensʹka oblastʹ, Ukraine)
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.