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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 (Zsheṭl); 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.
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.
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Record last modified: 2011-05-05 11:41:00
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