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Moshe M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3369)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3369

Videotape testimony of Moshe M., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1922, the third of four children. He recounts his family's orthodoxy; attending cheder at age three; completing Jewish trade school in 1938; German invasion in 1939; anti-Jewish restrictions including confiscation of his father's business; he and his older sister working to support the family; ghettoization; smuggling food; working in a battery factory; volunteering for road building near Łęczna; assistance from a non-Jewish woman; escaping; doing farm work posing as a non-Jew; arrest; incarceration in Lublin; release by a Folksdeutsch guard who had been helped by a Jew; returning to the Warsaw ghetto; hiding with his family during round-ups; his parents' round-up while he was at work; smuggling them out of the Umschlagplatz with his older sister; his round-up; assignment to a factory outside the ghetto; visiting his parents; a Pole smuggling letters to him from his brother from which he learned his parents and sisters had been deported, then his brother had (no one survived); several visits to the ghetto; acquiring guns; Polish civilian workers informing them of the ghetto uprising; and deportation to Majdanek.
Mr. M. describes public hangings and beatings; encountering his uncle, aunt, and cousin; slave labor in a quarry; friends supporting him when he was ill; never believing he would survive; transfer to Skarżysko-Kamienna; slave labor in a HASAG munitions factory; hospitalization for typhus; his sister's friend helping obtain a privileged position repairing machinery; receiving extra food from Polish non-Jewish workers; his Polish supervisor saving him from execution; transfer to Radom, Częstochowa, then Meuselwitz in November 1944; slave labor in a HASAG factory; Allied bombings; train evacuation; release in Czechoslovakia; liberation by United States troops; returning to Warsaw via Plzeň and Prague; living in Siedlce with a friend; futilely seeking relatives in Otwock; emigrating to Italy with a group due to pervasive antisemitism; assistance from Beriḥah, UNRRA, and the Joint; illegal emigration to Palestine in 1946; interdiction by the British; incarceration on Cyprus; release; living with his uncle's family in Israel; their kindness; joining the Haganah; and marriage to a survivor. Mr. M. discusses camp hierarchies; the importance of assistance from friends to his survival; hostility to survivors from Israelis; building his family and country as his form of revenge; and recently completing a written record of his experiences that he had started in Italy.

M., Moshe, 1922-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
Interview Date
June 18 and 25, July 1, 8, and 22, and August 6, 1992.
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Moshe M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3369). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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Record last modified: 2016-11-08 12:50:00
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