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Mor L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3387)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3387

Videotape testimony of Mor L., who was born in Davyd-Haradok, Russia (presently Belarus) in 1917, one of seven children. He recounts attending cheder, then a Hebrew school; participating in Hashomer Haleumi; living with a sister in Vilnius to attend a Polish gymnasium beginning in 1931; two sisters emigrating to Palestine; beginning university studies in chemistry; antisemitic harassment; a humiliating beating by Endecja members; Soviet occupation in 1939; completing university; a futile attempt to obtain emigration papers in Kaunus; returning to Vilnius; German invasion in June 1941; forced railroad labor; disbelief that Jews were being shot at Paneriai; ghettoization; slowly realizing that mass killings were occurring at Paneriai; joining a Jewish resistance (FPO) cell under Chaim Lazar; working for the Judenrat under Josef Glazer, an FPO leader; rejecting an offer from a non-Jewish friend to be hidden; obtaining weapons; escaping with Alexander B. and Nisan R. to join partisans in the forest in fall 1943; serving in Fëdor Markov's unit; battles with Germans; receiving weapons from the Soviets; and difficulties with antisemitic partisans.

Mr. L. recalls liberation by Soviet troops in June 1944; working in Vilnius and Vileĭka; returning to Davyd-Haradok seeking his family; learning four siblings, his parents, aunts, uncles and cousins had been murdered in a mass killing; recovering letters addressed to his family from the post office from which he learned relatives' addresses; his sense of being completely alone; returning to Vilnius; preparing to emigrate with other FPO members; reunion with an uncle in Lʹviv; communicating with his sisters in Palestine; traveling to Łódź; helping organize illegal emigration to Palestine, including children he had located in monasteries; moving with a group in December 1945 to Leipheim displaced persons camp; emigration to Palestine in July 1946; reunion with his sisters; marriage; serving in the Israel-Arab War; and the births of two daughters. He discusses nightmares resulting from his experiences; native Israeli inability to understand survivors; artificial divisions between camps survivors and partisans; limits of language to describe Holocaust experiences; his belief most Jews survived due to dumb luck; suspecting he has forgotten his worst experiences because one cannot live with such memories; and visiting Vilnius and other areas in the late 1980s with former partisans, his wife, and older daughter.

L., Mor, 1917-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
Interview Date
August 14, 1992.
Davyd-Haradok (Belarus)
Vilnius (Lithuania)
Kaunas (Lithuania)
Vileĭka (Minskai︠a︡ voblastsʹ, Belarus)
Lʹviv (Ukraine)
Łódź (Poland)
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Mor L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3387). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-06-04 13:29:00
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