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Śimḥah R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3439)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3439

Videotape testimony of Śimḥah R., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1924, one of four children. He recounts his father's Hasidism; attending cheder and Jewish schools; fights with Polish children; meeting Mordechai Anielewicz; joining Hashomer Hatzair, then Akiva; German invasion; a bomb killing his grandparents, brother, and aunt (he was wounded); a Polish soldier taking him for medical attention; another bombing; hospitalization; anti-Jewish restrictions; removing his star of David and traveling to Radom to obtain food; ghettoization; forced labor outside the ghetto; Poles trading food with them; taking donations to his father's rabbi; his mother delivering a child stillborn; escaping the ghetto; living in a small town, where he working for a Polish farmer; returning home; joining his parents, who were working on Czerniakow farm; joining the Zionist underground; delivering a package from Rivka Pasmanik to Lutek Rotblatt in the ghetto; hiding his family with Poles in a nearby village; joining the Dror group of Z.O.B. under Benjamin Wald; serving under Hanoch Gutman; buying guns from Poles; taking money from wealthy Jews; a battle with German soldiers; searching for a bunker dressed in an SS uniform; in a bunker; burying the body of Michal Flepfisz; and hiding in the Gepner bunker.
Mr. R. recalls sneaking into the Aryan side of Warsaw with Zygmunt Fryderych to meet Antek Zuckerman; obtaining assistance from Polish sewer workers, with the help of Tadek Shayngut; bringing ghetto fighters to the Aryan side through the sewers, among them Zivia Lubetkin (they had to leave over a dozen behind); reaching Lomianki forest; returning to the Aryan side of Warsaw with Antek, Marek Edelman, Zivia, and Tuvia Borzykowski (the others joined the partisans); recruiting his former neighbor, a Polish policeman; his help in retrieving Jews from the ghetto; raising funds from the Joint and Armia Krajowa, among others; liaising with Jewish fighters in the forests; visiting his parents (one sister had been killed in the uprising); hiding his younger sister elsewhere due to her health; joining Armia Krajowa; fighting in the Polish uprising; he and other Jewish fighters joining Armia Ludowa; being rounded up with Polish citizens; evacuation by train to Pruszków, then Suchedniów; obtaining false papers; traveling to Kraków; meeting partisan leaders in a nearby village; locating Jewish fighters in a hospital near Warsaw; locating a hiding place for them in Grodzisk Mazowiecki; traveling to Lublin to meet Armia Ludowa leaders; Soviet liberation; returning to Warsaw; reunion with his parents; retrieving his sister; traveling to Bucharest; meeting Abba and Vitka Kovner; assisting with illegal emigration to Palestine (including his family, which he took to Budapest); and joining Kovner in Pontebba.

R., Śimḥah, 1924-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1990, 1991, and 1994
Interview Date
December 18, 1990, April 1, 1991, April 9, 1991, March 24, 1994.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Śimḥah R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3439). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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Record last modified: 2016-11-08 12:55:00
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