Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Ya'akov M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3558)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3558

Videotape testimony of Ya'akov M., who was born in Praga, Poland in 1929, one of six children. He recounts attending school; cordial relations with non-Jews; German invasion; fleeing with his family to a nearby forest; moving in with an aunt in Warsaw; working as a delivery boy; ghettoization; smuggling food daily, at great risk, to support his family; assistance from many Poles, including police; beatings by German soldiers; his father's death from illness in 1942; pervasive starvation and death; obtaining false papers; a Polish woman with whom he worked sending him to Piaseczno during a round-up; working on a farm as a non-Jew; changing locations often; a Polish friend providing him with a birth certificate, which saved his life several times; returning to Warsaw; the ghetto uprising; selling stolen goods with other children; being arrested and beaten by the police; joining the Polish uprising in 1944; his satisfaction when they killed German soldiers; capture; deportation to Oppeln as a Polish prisoner-of-war; forced labor in a factory; receiving Red Cross packages; desertion by German guards during a march; liberation by Soviet troops; hospitalization; returning to Praga; living with a friend's family; joining a kibbutz in Kraków; assistance from the Joint; living in the Rothschild Hospital displaced persons camp in Vienna; traveling to Italy; illegal emigration to Palestine in 1946; interdiction by the British; incarceration on Cyprus; entering Israel in February 1948; serving in the Israeli-Arab war; and recently receiving a medal from the Polish government for his role in the 1944 uprising. Mr. M. discusses learning of the extermination camps only after the war and the murder of his entire family.

M., Ya'akov, 1929-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
July 5, 1993.
Praga (Warsaw, Poland)
Piaseczno (Piaseczno, Poland)
Warsaw (Poland)
Kraków (Poland)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Ya'akov M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3558). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.