Śimḥah R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3439)
- 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.
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.