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Shlomo V. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3328) interviewed by Rachel Jadaio and Sarah Iwanir

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3328

Videotape testimony of Shlomo V., who was born in Yahilʹnytsya, Poland (presently Ukraine), in approximately 1927, the oldest of three children. He recounts completing public school; briefly joining Gordonia (he was not a Zionist); attending university in Lʹviv; antisemitic harassment, particularly by Endecja members; Soviet occupation; German invasion in 1941; fleeing east; staying with an uncle in Zolochiv; Germans and Ukrainians forcing him and other Jews to bury hundreds of those killed by the retreating Soviets; Germans shooting the burial workers; escaping from the pit at night with four others; hiding in his uncle's cellar; working for farmers in Voronyaki, posing as a non-Jew; returning to Yahilʹnytsya; arrest; a severe beating; escaping at night; re-arrest; his father obtaining his release through non-Jewish business connections; working for the Judenrat; transfer to the tobacco factory his father managed; making false papers; round-ups, deportations, and mass killings; living in the factory with his family as aranged by the German factory manager who, with his mistress, protected them from deportations; visiting the Yahilʹnytsya camp; obtaining a gun from a guard; his family escaping a round-up through the sewers; his escape to the forest; their return; hiding his mother, sister, and cousin during a round-up, then escaping with his father and brother into the sewers; and all of them returning with assistance from the manager.
Mr. V. recalls moving with his family to a village in winter 1944 as Soviet troops approached; returning to their house; moving to Chortkiv in March; hiding with Polish neighbors when Germans returned; Soviet liberation; draft into the Soviet military; showing his Jewish commander the mass grave site in Zolochiv; assignments in Lʹviv, Rzeszów, and Kraków; demobilization; business trips to Prague and Bratislava; testifying to obtain the release of a German who had saved his family; leaving Poland after a Polish riot and killing of Jews in Kraków; living in Steyr and Braunau displaced persons camps; his family's arrival; joining a group organizing illegal emigration to Palestine, funded by the Joint; and emigrating to Israel in 1948. Mr. V. discusses Israeli contempt for survivors; obtaining recognition by Yad Vashem for the factory manager who saved them; and testifying at three war crime trials in Germany. He shows documents, the knife he had used to escape, and a model he built of the mass killing site in Zolochiv.

V., Shlomo, 1927?-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1991
Interview Date
June 24, 1991.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Shlomo V. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3328). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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Record last modified: 2014-02-17 13:05:00
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