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Azriel L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3307) interviewed by Nathan Beyrak

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3307

Videotape testimony of Azriel L., who was born in Klaipėda, Lithuania in 1923, and raised in Skaudvilė, the oldest of four sons. He recounts his family's affluence; his father's Zionism; attending cheder, public school, yeshiva, then a Hebrew gymnasium in Tauragė; the family moving to Kaunas; Soviet occupation; remaining in Kaunas when his family returned to Skaudvilė; clandestinely participating in a Zionist youth group; visiting Vilnius; German invasion; Lithuanian violence against Jews; receiving a letter from his parents (he never saw them again); ghettoization; forced labor at the airport; joining Irgun Berit Tsiyon; living with the head of the ghetto, Dr. Elkhanan Elkes; constructing bunkers with a group; escaping to the forest, intending to join the partisans; capture in Lazdijai; imprisonment in Marijampolė, then Kaunas; Gestapo interrogation; release to the ghetto; burying ghetto documents; an organized attempt to tunnel out of the ghetto that failed; deportation to Landsberg; observing Passover; escape from a train transport; liberation by United States troops; living in Landsberg, then the St. Ottilien displaced persons camp; traveling with the Jewish brigade to Treviso, Rome, then a kibbutz near Bari; illegal emigration to Palestine; learning one brother had survived; their reunion; working as a counselor for young survivors; and the births of three children. Mr. L. discusses never losing hope in the ghetto and camp; not discussing his experiences for fifty years; visiting Lithuania with his daughter; and searching in vain for the documents he buried.

Author/Creator
L., Azriel, 1923-
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1991
Interview Date
September 26, 1991.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Azriel L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3307). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.