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Aharon C. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1844) Interviewed by Anita Tarsi, Levana Frank, and Nathan Beyrak

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1844

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.

Author/Creator
C., Aharon, 1921-
Published
Ramat Aviv, Israel : Beth Hatefutsoth, Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, 1989, 1990
Interview Date
1989 and 1990.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
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.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4296209
Record last modified: 2013-11-25 16:04:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4296209