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Masha P. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3563)

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3563

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    Videotape testimony of Masha P., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1924, the younger of two daughters. She recalls a very happy childhood among a large extended family; attending a Bundist school; her parents' atheism; her sister moving to Białystok in 1939; attending a Bund summer camp; her father coming for her; German invasion the next day; anti-Jewish restrictions, including closing schools; working at a Bund sanitarium outside Warsaw; returning immediately prior to ghettoization; caring for young children in their building; obtaining food in a Bund kitchen; selling goods on the street; rampant deaths from starvation; illnesses resulting from horrendous sanitation; hiding with her parents during a round-up in July 1942; her mother's and father's captures; learning her father had escaped; his recapture days later (she never saw her parents again); hiding in an attic, sewers, then a bunker; joining the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB) after the round-up; her strong desire for revenge; preparing for the uprising with Marek Edelman's group; attacking German forces on April 18-19, 1942; moving several times including to Mila 18, where she met Mordecai Anielewicz; the heartbreak of having to abandon a wounded friend; and moving to Edelman's bunker, then to the sewers on May 9.

    Ms. P. recounts exiting three days later to a pre-arranged truck; joining partisans in the forest; escaped Soviet prisoners of war guiding them; cutting electric lines and blowing up railroad tracks; meeting her future husband, who made sure she always had food; avoiding locals and Armia Krajowa (AK), fearing they would kill them; retreating to an island in a swamp; horrendous living conditions; becoming ill; being sent to Warsaw with a few others; living with Poles for a few months; visits from Yitzhak Zuckerman; moving several times; obtaining false papers through the Polish underground; Zuckerman arranging their participation in the 1944 Polish uprising with the AK as part of the FOB; hiding in bunkers after the uprising failed; her husband killing two Poles who had discovered them; liberation by Soviet troops; learning her sister had been killed and about the extermination camps; moving to Lublin, her husband fearing arrest for killing the Poles; assistance from the Red Cross; Zuckerman connecting them with Beriḥah; their transfer to Bucharest; receiving certificates to emigrate to Palestine eight months later; and their emigration in October 1945 with Abba Kovner. Ms. P. discusses Edelman's outstanding and unselfish leadership; camp survivors having less status in Israel than armed resistors; and continuing contact with friends from the ghetto fighters.
    P., Masha, 1924-
    Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993 and 1994
    Interview Date
    July 22 and 29, October 21, November 9 and 19, 1993, and February 1, 1994.
    Soviet Union
    Warsaw (Poland)
    Lublin (Poland)
    Bucharest (Romania)
    Cite As
    Masha P. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3563). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
    This testimony is in Hebrew.

    Physical Details

    2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
    Physical Description
    6 videorecordings (14 hr., 52 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Child survivors.
    False papers.
    Aid by non-Jews
    Postwar experiences.
    Holocaust survivors. Video tapes. Women. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Jewish. World War, 1939-1945--Children. Jewish children in the Holocaust. Jewish ghettos. Jews--Poland--Warsaw. World War, 1939-1945--Jewish resistance. Revenge. Escapes. World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--Poland. Prisoners of war--Soviet Union. Prisoners of war--Germany. Husband and wife. Poland. Warsaw (Poland) Warsaw (Poland)--History--Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, 1943. Warsaw (Poland)--History--Uprising, 1944. Lublin (Poland) Bucharest (Romania) Palestine--Emigration and immigration. Oral histories (document genres) P., Masha,--1924- Anielewicz, Mordecai,--1919-1943. Edelman, Marek,--1919-2009. Zuckerman, Yitzhak,--1915-1981. Kovner, Abba,--1918-1987. Allgemeyner Idisher arbayṭerbund in Liṭa, Poylen un Rusland. Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa (Poland) Poland.--Polskie Siły Zbrojne.--Armia Krajowa. Beriḥah (Organization) International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

    Administrative Notes

    Link to Yale University Library Catalog:
    Record last modified:
    2018-05-30 11:28:00
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