Girsh K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3593) interviewed by Irina Trampolski and Ina Gurary
- Minsk, Belarus : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
- Interview Date
- July 31, 1995.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Girsh K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3593). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Girsh K., who was born in Minsk, Russia in 1914, the fourth of seven children. He recounts his family moving to Moscow in 1916 to avoid the German invasion; returning to Minsk in 1918; hardships under German and Polish invasions; attending a Jewish school; Soviet elimination of Jewish cultural and religious institutions in the 1930s; training as an engineer in Moscow; working in a shoe factory in Minsk; his brothers serving in the military; German occupation; ghettoization with his parents and sisters; round-up of all Jewish men; a mass shooting of all professionals in a nearby village (he did not reveal he was an engineer); transfer to prison in Minsk; release back to the ghetto; incarceration in Shirokaya Street camp; sadistic public executions by Lithuanian guards; slave labor repairing machinery; transfer to Maly Trostinec; assistance from fellow prisoners; several assignments including repairing sewing machines; failed escape attempts with assistance from non-Jews; sabotaging the sewing machines; transfer back to Shirokaya Street; setting a fire with others in an escape effort; return to Maly Trostinec; torture after another failed escape; fellow prisoners assisting his recovery; escaping with a group in June 1944 as Soviet troops approached; assistance from local peasants; arrival of Soviet forces; volunteering to join them; arrest with another Jew because they had no identity papers; a forced march with thousands of other prisoners considered collaborators; assistance from a soldier escaping with his Jewish friend; hospitalization; returning to Minsk; employment in a shoe factory; marriage; the births of two children; their deaths in a 1968 accident; and his wife's death two years later. Mr. K. notes all his immediate family were killed in the war, except one brother. He shows photographs.