Sonya O. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1220) interviewed by Jose Quiles and Bernard Weinstein
- Union, N.J. : Kean College Oral Testimonies Project, 1988
- Interview Date
- February 17, 1988 and May 4, 1988.
- 4 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; Betacam SP restoration submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Sonya O. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1220). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Sonya O., who was born in Nowogródek, Poland (presently Navahrudak, Belarus) in 1922, one of five children. She recounts a pleasant childhood in an affluent family; attending gymnasium; Soviet occupation; confiscation of their business and home; acceptance to medical school; German invasion; deportation of her grandparents; ghettoization; working in the ghetto hospital; one brother being killed; conversion of the ghetto to a forced labor camp; remaining with her family; her younger brother starving to death; round-up of her mother and sister, then of her father a week later (they were killed); participating in a group that dug an escape tunnel; several hundred escaping through the tunnel at night, including her brother, future husband, and his brother; separation from her brother in the dark; hiding during the day and walking at night; a farmer hiding them for a few weeks; contact with the Bielski partisans; joining them in Naliboki forest in September 1943; finding her brother there; liberation by Soviet troops in July 1944; returning to Nowogródek; moving to Ivi︠a︡nets, her future husband's hometown, with his brother and her brother; living with non-Jewish friends of her husband's family; a Soviet soldier warning them to leave; traveling to Łódź, then Romania; smuggling themselves to Italy; living in a displaced persons camp; her son's birth in August 1945; assistance from HIAS, the Joint, and UNRRA; becoming seriously ill; hospitalization in Rome; emigration to the United States in 1950; and the birth of her second son. Ms. O. notes sharing her experiences with her children.