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Itzchak M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3629)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3629

Videotape testimony of Itzchak M., who was born in Kelmė, Lithuania in 1932. He recalls his rabbinical ancestry; his father's position as a Jewish bank director; attending a Tarbut Yiddish school with his older sister until 1941; German invasion; fleeing as the city and their home burned; forced location to a nearby village; his father's incarceration; visiting him once (he never saw him again); placement with his sister at the end of a line for a mass shooting; Lithuanian women, including their former maid, taking about fifteen of the children; living with the maid (his sister stayed with her friend); their baptism as Catholics, although maintaining their internal Jewish identity; local Jews retrieving him and his sister; their escape, thinking they would be killed; returning to the former maid and his sister to another friend; learning the other Jews had been shot; hiding with the maid's friends elsewhere when it became too dangerous; the maid's husband threatening to expose them; living on the street; a Lithuanian taking him in, despite his impoverishment; living as a family member; attending church; occasionally disguising himself as a girl to visit the mass grave site and his sister; reciting Catholic prayers when accused of being a Jew; remaining with the Lithuanian family after liberation; joining returning Jews in Kelmė in 1947; completing school; marriage in 1955; completing university in Kaunas in 1958; working as an engineer in Vilnius; writing novels and poetry based on his and others' Holocaust experiences; and emigration to Israel in 1972. Mr. M. discusses his instinct to survive despite fear, hunger, disease, and other hardships, and continuing contact with his rescuers.

Author/Creator
M., Itzchak, 1932-
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
November 30, 1993.
Language
Russian
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Itzchak M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3629). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.