Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Leonid O. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3555)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3555

Videotape testimony of Leonid O., who was born in Minsk, Belarus in 1929, one of four children. He recounts attending school; his brother volunteering for the Soviet army (he never returned); his sister and father traveling to Moscow; German invasion; briefly fleeing during bombings; not knowing he was Jewish until defined as such by the Germans; round-ups and executions; ghettoization; forced labor in a carpentry shop; the arrival of German Jews in 1942; contact with the partisans; bringing Jews to the forest to the partisans led by Shalom Zorin in the forest; building hiding places for others in exchange for food; hiding during round-ups and random shootings; public hanging of his mother, sister, and other relatives in 1943; escaping from a round-up; joining Zorin's partisans; participating in raids on Germans; Polish partisans killing Jews; enlisting in a Soviet intelligence unit; capturing a German officer; being wounded six times, the last in Rostock; his sense of taking revenge; hospitalization in Hrodna; transfer to Minsk; reunion with his father and sister; serving in the Soviet Navy until 1949; marriage; arrest on charges of “Zionism”; imprisonment for two years; one son's emigration to Israel; and joining him a year later. Mr. O. discusses details of ghetto life; sadistic killings; partisan life; and receiving two Soviet medals for his military service. He shows photographs.

O., Leonid, 1929-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
July 2, 1993.
Minsk (Belarus)
Rostock (Germany)
Hrodna (Belarus)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Leonid O. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3555). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.