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Gad R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3637)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3637

Videotape testimony of Gad R., who was born in 1919 in Ignatovka, Poland (presently Ukraine), the second of seven brothers. He recounts his father's orthodoxy and leadership of the Jewish community; attending cheder, public school, then a yeshiva in Lut︠s︡ʹk in 1932; returning home after his older brother emigrated to Palestine in 1935; participating in Betar; Soviet occupation; completing high school in Lʹviv; working as a clerk in Ignatovka; his father's death; German invasion; looting by local Ukrainians; a non-Jewish acquaintance warning him of worse to come; taking his younger brother's place for one week of forced labor; a Polish non-Jew assisting them obtain food; expulsion by Ukrainian police to Sofiïvka, during which they shot his mother; hiding during a mass shooting (his brothers were all killed); forming a partisan group with a non-Jewish communist; escaping to the forest; his group executing a Ukrainian collaborator; joining Soviet soldiers; blowing up railroad tracks; building bunkers; and battles with Germans and Ukrainians.

Mr. R. recalls many relocations; joining Sydir Kovpak's larger unit; Soviet air-drops of supplies; taking revenge on collaborators in Sofiïvka; liberating a prisoner of war camp; traveling large distances; refusing orders by a Soviet officer to execute a SS man with an ax; blowing up an oil refinery near Hungary; forming a group of former partisans in Rivne to emigrate to Palestine in June 1944; marriage; traveling to Volodymyr-Volynsʹkyĭ, then Lublin; organizing groups to emigrate to Palestine; traveling to Bucharest; attending a speech by Abba Kovner; working with Beriḥah; arrival in Palestine in October 1945; and military draft. He discusses losing his belief in God due to his experiences; varying perspectives on revenge; Israelis initially doubting experiences of those who resisted; continuing nightmares; writing a book about his experiences; sharing his story with his children and grandchildren; erecting a gravestone for his family in Ignatovka; and on-going correspondence with non-Jewish Ukrainians from his partisan group.

R., Gad, 1919-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1994
Interview Date
February 24, March 10, and March 28, 1994.
Ignatovka (Volynsʹka oblastʹ, Ukraine)
Lut︠s︡ʹk (Ukraine)
Lʹviv (Ukraine)
Sofiïvka (Volynsʹka oblastʹ, Ukraine)
Rivne (Rivnensʹka oblastʹ, Ukraine)
Volodymyr-Volynsʹkyĭ (Ukraine)
Lublin (Poland)
Bucharest (Romania)
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Gad R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3637). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-30 11:40:00
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