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Iakov M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3599) interviewed by Irina Trampolski,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3599

Videotape testimony of Iakov M., who was born in Vitsebsk, Belarus in 1928. He recalls his family's poverty; attending Russian school; some religious observances; his father's death in April 1941; German invasion in June; one sister's evacuation with her medical school; fleeing with his mother, younger sister, and neighbors to Shumilino; ghettoization; sneaking out for food; his mother ordering him to escape in November; returning the next day; learning all were murdered in a mass killing; a non-Jew in Pyatnitsa hiding him and advising him of hiding and survival strategies; going from village to village; warning Jews in Byeshankovichy; a woman hiding him in Strelka; joining partisans in fall 1942; battles in Rasony, Klyastitsy, and Sirotino; delivering messages to other detachments; crossing the front in Vyerkhnyadzvinsk in 1944; joining the Soviet military; assignments in Latvia, Japan, and China; discharge in 1951; returning to Vitsebsk; and moving to Minsk. He discusses his surviving sister who lives in the United States; a joyous reunion with many who helped save him when visiting Pyatnitsa in 1960; informing a foundation of his rescuers, who then received financial assistance; maintaining the mass grave in Shumilino; nightmares of running from Germans; attending annual partisan reunions; his children's disinterest in his experiences; and his belief that films should not portray Jews solely as victims, but also as fighters.

Author/Creator
M., Iakov, 1928-
Published
Minsk, Belarus : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1997
Interview Date
August 2, 1997.
Locale
Belarus
Vitsebsk (Belarus)
Shumilino (Belarus)
Strelka (Belarus)
Rasony (Belarus)
Klyastitsy (Belarus)
Sirotino (Belarus)
Byeshankovichy (Belarus)
Pyatnitsa (Belarus)
Verkhni︠a︡dzvinski rai︠o︡n (Belarus)
Minsk (Belarus)
Language
Russian
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Iakov M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3599). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.