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David R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3710)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3710

Videotape testimony of David R., who was born in Lublin, Russia (presently Poland) in 1913, one of three children. He recalls expulsion from the Hebrew gymnasium due to his participation in illegal communist activities; imprisonment in Bi︠a︡roza, Rawicz, and Koronowo; forced labor; escaping during the 1939 German invasion; returning to Lublin; smuggling pigs from Mełgiew to support his family; escaping when Germans came for him; arranging for Polish friends to hide him and his family in Trzeszkowice, then in Mełgiew; obtaining false papers for all of them; traveling to Lublin with his mother and sisters so they could volunteer for forced labor in Germany; one sister remaining in Warsaw; having to leave his father en route (he never saw him again); traveling to Łuków; employment as a tax collector; traveling to many towns and villages; observing the killing of Jews in several locations; implying he was in the Polish resistance; almost forgetting his real identity; communicating with his mother and sister in Germany; visiting his sister in Warsaw; seeing a doctor in the Lublin ghetto when he was ill, fearing a non-Jewish doctor would learn his identity; giving his address to the doctor; bringing his sister from Warsaw to Łuków when her false identity was in jeopardy; liberation by Soviet troops; returning to Lublin; return of his mother and other sister in spring 1945; marriage to the widow of the doctor who had treated him in the Lublin ghetto; contact with his wife's family in Israel; pervasive antisemitism; escaping from Poland; assistance from Beriḥah; and illegal emigration to Palestine in 1946 (his mother and sisters remained). Mr. R. discusses political and resistance factions in Poland; many episodes in hiding; survival strategies; help from non-Jews; and helping other Jews who were in hiding. He shows photographs.

R., David, 1913-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1994
Interview Date
June 3, 6, and 30, July 28, September 9, and November 4, 1994.
Lublin (Poland)
Koronowo (Poland)
Bi︠a︡roza (Bi︠a︡rozaŭski rai︠o︡n, Belarus)
Rawicz (Województwo Wielkopolskie, Poland)
Mełgiew (Poland)
Trzeszkowice (Poland)
Łuków (Lublin, Poland)
Warsaw (Poland)
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
David R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3710). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.