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Semion G. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3613) interviewed by Irina Trampolski and Ina Gurary

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3613

Videotape testimony of Semion G., who was born in Minsk, Belarus in 1925, the third of four children. He recalls speaking Yiddish at home; attending Belorussian school; cordial relations with non-Jews; his oldest brother's military service; his sister's birth in 1940; German invasion in June 1941; fleeing to Kolodishchi; returning home; his father's enlistment in the Soviet army; ghettoization; assistance from non-Jewish neighbors; mass killings; hiding in bunkers; his oldest brother using false documents to obtain weapons; learning his father had been killed; a mass killing on November 7, 1941; escaping with his brothers; joining partisans with his oldest brother (his middle brother joined a Jewish unit); many battles including ambushing a German garrison in Shatsk in 1942, for which he received a medal; becoming a unit commander; German blockades; learning his middle brother was killed in 1943; moving from Karelichy to the Bialowieza and Ruzhanʹska forests and Białystok; hostilities with Polish and Ukrainian partisans; joining the Soviet military; and his oldest brother's combat death in January 1945. He discusses non-Jewish partisans not caring he was Jewish; fighting to revenge his murdered family; becoming desensitized to killing; sharing his experiences with his children; persistent nightmares; and emotional reunions with partisan colleagues. He shows photographs.

G., Semion, 1925-
Minsk, Belarus : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
Interview Date
August 7, 1995.
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Semion G. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3613). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.