Mira V. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3536)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
- Interview Date
- March 12 and 28, 1993.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Mira V. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3536). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Mira V., who was born in Vilna, Poland (presently Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1919, the older of two children. She recounts her family's affluence; summering at their vacation home in Nemenčinė; attending a Bund, then another Yiddish school; participating in Hashomer Hatzair; attending lectures by Hayyim Nahman Bialik and Vladimir Jabotinsky; her father's dismissal from his government job in 1938 due to increasing antisemitisim; living on a hachsharah in Częstochowa; German invasion in 1939; fleeing to Kovelʹ; Soviet occupation; returning home; German invasion; anti-Jewish restrictions; learning of her father's murder in Ponary from a non-Jewish friend who witnessed it; moving to the ghetto in September; hiding with her mother and sister during a round-up, assisted by a Jewish policeman; her sister's friend, who had a life-saving certificate, marrying her sister to save the family; hiding her mother in a bunker (they were discovered); an unsuccessful attempt to bribe Salk Dessler, a Judenrat official, to save her mother; doing agricultural work outside the ghetto; her civilian supervisor taking her to work as a domestic in his home; a Polish friend giving her food; bringing extra food to her sister; her sister's husband being beaten to death; joining the ghetto resistance (Fareyniḳṭe parṭizaner organizatsye); learning to shoot; working with Abba Kovner, Yiżḣak Wittenburg, Joseph Glazman, and others; and meetings with Jacob Gens and partisan couriers Ḥaiḳah Grosman and Tossia Altman.
Ms. V. recalls failing to convince her sister to join her in escaping to the forest; assistance from farmers; joining Glazman's Nekamah group in Fëdor Markov's Voroshilov partisans which included Nisan Reznik; confiscation of Jewish partisans' possessions; learning Jewish partisans were murdered; leaving to join Lithuanian partisans; caring for the wounded; inferior treatment of Jews; liberation by Soviet troops; transfer to Švenčionys, then Nemenčinė; walking to Vilnius; reunion with Jewish partisan friends; learning her sister had not survived; assistance from the Joint; searching for relatives; pervasive antisemitism; traveling to Białystok, Hrodna, then Bucharest; joining Kovner's revenge group; traveling to Italy; meeting the Jewish brigade; traveling to Munich, then Nuremberg as a member of the revenge group planning to poison incarcerated German prisoners of war; moving between Munich, Frankfurt, and Berlin; fleeing to Paris after the mission; and emigration to Palestine. Ms. V. discusses others who were in the forest with her including Alexander Bogen and Abraham Sutzkever; not sharing her experiences, even with her husband and children, until 1985; continuing antipathy toward Germans and Germany; experiences she will not share; and continuing nightmares.