Aharon C. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1844) Interviewed by Anita Tarsi, Levana Frank, and Nathan Beyrak,
Videotape testimony of Aharon C., who was born in Opoczno, Poland in 1921, one of seven children. He recounts attending cheder, public school, then Tarbut school; participating in Gordonyah; antisemitic violence; his older brother's emigration to Palestine in 1935; two brothers' conscription; German invasion; one brother's return; anti-Jewish restrictions; Germans taking community leaders for ransom, including his father; the community paying the ransom; his father's appointment to the Judenrat; ghettoization; working in the family bakery; volunteering in a soup kitchen; his assignment to bury corpses from a killing; hiding with his brother and uncle during a round-up; capture by Poles; securing their release with a bribe; hiding in a cemetery (a Polish friend brought him food); returning to his parents in the ghetto; transfer with his family to the Ujazd ghetto; escaping from a deportation train with encouragement from his father; Poles offering him shelter, then robbing him; traveling to Warsaw; returning to Opoczno to retrieve buried money to purchase false papers; assistance from Polish family friends; returning to Warsaw; obtaining false papers; arrest; interrogation and beating by the Gestapo; transfer to the ghetto; forced labor sorting Jewish belongings; escaping; hiding with a Jewish family; contact with Eliezer Geller; joining the Jewish resistance (ZOB); arms training; and participating in missions, including arresting collaborators.
Mr. C. recalls the ghetto uprising; escaping with a group through the sewers to a forest; David Nowodworski organizing them; obtaining supplies from friendly Poles; other ghetto fighters joining them; receiving weapons from the Polish Communist Party (PPR); moving to another forest; joining Armia Ludova partisans; skirmishes with the right wing Armia Krajowa (AK); a Soviet air drop of weapons and supplies; blowing up German trains; his unit's dissolution; many casualties from German attacks; liberation by Soviet troops; interrogating German POWs; joining the Soviet militia in Mińsk Mazowiecki; guarding Jewish refugees; traveling with the Soviet Army to Praga; returning to Mińsk Mazowiecki; meeting Abba Kovner in Lublin; interrogating AK members; traveling to Warsaw; meetings with Yitzhak Zuckerman and Marek Edelman; discussions of revenge; returning to Mińsk Mazowiecki; marriage; briefly returning to Opoczno; joining a group emigrating to Palestine; receiving documents as Greek Jews; traveling through Poland to Slovakia, then boarding a Red Cross train to Romania; living three months each in a kibbutz in Alba Iulia, then Bucharest; illegal emigration by ship from Constanța to Palestine; interdiction by the British; release; reunion with his brother; his wife's uncle hosting a Jewish wedding by a rabbi for them; working as a baker; being drafted into the Haganah; and serving in the 1948 Arab-Israel War and 1956 Sinai Campaign. Mr. C. provides many details of his experiences. He shows photographs.
- Ramat Aviv, Israel : Beth Hatefutsoth, Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, 1989, 1990
- Interview Date
- 1989 and 1990.
Ujazd (Województwo Świętokrzyskie)
Mińsk Mazowiecki (Poland)
Praga (Warsaw, Poland)
Alba Iulia (Romania)
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Aharon C. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1844). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.