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Ben-Zion B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3197) interviewed by Nathan Beyrak and Margalith Shlain

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3197

Videotape testimony of Ben-Zion B., who was born in Domachëvo, Poland (presently Belarus) in 1924, the younger of two children. He recounts his father's death when he less than three; a close extended family; relatives emigrating to the United States; his mother's remarriage; the births of a brother and sister; attending cheder and Polish public school; antisemitic teachers; visits from his American uncle; his sister's marriage; brief German invasion; Soviet occupation; visiting his sister in Kosiv; German invasion in June 1941; witnessing a mass killing; forced labor; smuggling food to his family; non-Jewish neighbors bringing them food; visiting an aunt in the Brest ghetto; hiding with his family in a bunker; their decision to commit suicide (his stepfather succeeded, the rest became ill); leaving the bunker after a week (his mother insisted); learning his mother and siblings were killed; escaping to a forest; his sense of isolation; finding other Jews and joining them; stealing weapons; acceptance into the Voroshilov partisans after burning a dairy in his hometown; many military operations; executions of German prisoners; assisting a Jewish boy; liberation in July 1944 by Soviet troops; liberating Brest; enlisting in the Soviet military in Kobryn; learning of concentration camps; liberating Lublin and Warsaw; and advancing to Berlin.
Mr. B. recalls traveling to Brest; military discharge; returning home; traveling to Łódź; fleeing an attack by the Armia Krajowa; traveling to Germany with a group organized to emigrate to Palestine; marriage; living in a refugee camp; his son's birth; emigration to Israel via Bandol in 1948; military service in Israel-Arab War; establishing a business; and reunion with the boy he assisted in the forest. Mr. B. names many partisans and discusses details of partisan life; revenge as motivation; reluctance to share his experiences due to negative Israeli perceptions of survivors; and his sense each grandchild healed a wound. He names murdered Jews from Domachëvo as a memorial to them.

Author/Creator
B., Ben-Zion, 1924-
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1991
Interview Date
April 3, 1991.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Ben-Zion B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3197). 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/4290992
Record last modified: 2012-05-03 15:48:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4290992