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Eliezer L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3308) interviewed by Anita Tarsi and Nathan Beyrak,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: MS 1322

Videotape testimony of Eliezer L., who was born in Dyatlovo, Russia (presently Dzi︠a︡tlava, Belarus) in 1908, one of three brothers. He recounts living in Baranavichy; German occupation during World War I; working with the Bolsheviks in the 1917 revolution; his father's death in 1920; participating in Hechalutz; marriage in 1930; the births of two children; Soviet occupation in 1939; banishment by the Soviets to Valozhyn; frequent secret visits to his family; German invasion in June 1941; fleeing to Minsk; arrest; posing as a non-Jew when Jews were separated; forced labor; escaping to Baranavichy; reunion with his wife and children in the ghetto; forced labor as a mechanic; contacts with the Judenrat; a mass killing of 3,000 Jews in March 1942; helping to organize resistance; hospitalization for a broken leg; hiding with his family in a bunker; escaping to the forest partisans; an unsuccessful attempt to retrieve his wife and children from the ghetto (he never saw them again); forming a Jewish partisan unit; destroying rail lines; assistance from farmers; killing collaborators; and his demotion in rank for reciting his Zionist poem.

Mr. L. recalls joining the Soviet army; participating in the liberation of Rivne; searching in vain for his family; organizing the construction of a fence around a mass grave; retrieving hidden and orphaned Jewish children; coordinating with Zionist groups in Vilnius; an invitation to Moscow by the Evreĭskiĭ antifashistskiĭ komitet; meeting with committee members Ilʹi︠a︡ Ėrenburg, Itzik Fefer, Solomon Mikhoėls, Der Nister, and others; returning to Rivne; working with Abba Kovner and Yitzhak Zuckerman in Lublin and Bucharest, organizing illegal emigration to Palestine; traveling to many locations for this work; moving with a group to Milan; marriage in 1946; meetings with David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meier at the Zionist Congress in Basel; briefly staying in Munich to participate in a failed revenge mission; emigration with his wife to Palestine in 1947; interdiction by the British; incarceration in a detention camp; his daughter's birth; release; and serving as a Mapai representative in the Knesset. Mr. L. discusses many details of partisans, their postwar activities, and writing about his experiences.

L., Eliezer, 1908-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
Interview Date
March 11, 1992, and other dates.
Dzi︠a︡tlava (Belarus)
Baranavichy (Belarus)
Valozhyn (Belarus)
Rivne (Rivnensʹka oblastʹ, Ukraine)
Vilnius (Lithuania)
Moscow (Russia)
Soviet Union
Lublin (Poland)
Bucharest (Romania)
Milan (Italy)
Basel (Switzerland)
Munich (Germany)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Eliezer L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3308). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2019-11-18 16:35:00
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