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Sonya B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3377)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3377

Videotape testimony of Sonya B., who was born in 1923 in Poland, one of five children. She recounts her family's move to Zheludok when she was six; attending a Jewish, then Polish school; antisemitic harassment; Soviet occupation; attending school in Lida; joining the Komsomol; one brother's draft into the Soviet army; German invasion; fleeing east; ghettoization in Dyatlovo (Dzi︠a︡tlava); work caring for a baby, then forced labor building roads; joining the ghetto underground with her brother; hiding in a bunker with her father; escaping to the forest with a friend; assistance from a non-Jewish farmer; joining Jewish partisans; a brief reunion with her brother (he was in the Soviet partisans); members of her group liberating Jews, including her father, from a nearby camp; cooking, laundering, and tending to the wounded; blowing up trains; building a forest bunker; battles with German soldiers, including one in Ruda Yavorskaya; contemplating suicide when she feared capture; treatment by a partisan physician; and liberation by Soviet troops in July 1944.

Ms. B. discusses returning with her father to Zheludok, then Dyatlovo; organizing the local Komsomol; returning to Zheludok; reunion with her sister; attempted recruitment by the NKVD; escaping to Łódź; obtaining false papers as Greeks; traveling to Warsaw; Poles killing a Jew on a train; finding Jews in Biała Podlaska to help bury the victim; finding her brother in Międzyrzec; returning with him to Łódź; traveling illegally to Budapest in a group using Greek passports, then to a refugee camp in Graz; assistance from the Jewish brigade; traveling with her sister to a kibbutz in Brussels, then Marseille; emigration to Palestine by boat; interdiction by the British; incarceration in ʻAtlit; release; her brother's death in the 1948 war; marriage in 1951; and the births of two daughters. She discusses details of partisan life; nightmares resulting from her experiences; and not sharing her story with her children, wanting them to have happy lives.

B., Sonya, 1923-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
June 18, 1993.
Z︠H︡aludok (Belarus)
Dzi︠a︡tlava (Belarus)
Lida (Belarus)
Ruda Yavorskaya (Belarus)
Łódź (Poland)
Warsaw (Poland)
Biała Podlaska (Poland)
Międzyrzec Podlaski (Poland)
Budapest (Hungary)
Graz (Austria)
Brussels (Belgium)
Marseille (France)
ʻAtlit (Israel)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Sonya B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3377). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-29 11:58:00
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