Azriel L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3307) interviewed by Nathan Beyrak
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1991
- Interview Date
- September 26, 1991.
- 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.
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.