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Vladimir S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3743)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3743

Videotape testimony of Vladimir S., who was born in Daugavpils, Russia (presently Latvia) in 1916, one of five brothers. He recalls moving to Polatsk in 1928; his father's death from war wounds; attending a Jewish school; moving to Leningrad (presently St. Petersburg); working, then attending military academy; assignment as a communications officer in Eĭsk; German invasion; mobilization of three brothers; participating in several battles with high casualty rates; capture near Smolensk; incarceration in Monastyrshchina; having no food or shelter and sleeping onthe ground; transfer to a camp near Biała Podlaska; posing as a non-Jew; escaping with a large group; hiding with Jews; smuggling himself into the Biała Podlaska ghetto in September 1941; acquiring legal documents; forced labor at an airport; round-ups; escaping in summer 1942; joining Jewish partisans; his command position due to his military training and experience; blowing up trains and obtaining arms and food; moving to Pinsk; joining a Soviet group; retreating when surrounded by German troops in January 1943; living in swamps and forests until April; organizing a platoon near Pinsk; learning of partisans who killed Jews; German bombings in winter 1944; retreating to Ukraine; additional training in Kiev in 1945; reunion with one brother who had been seriously wounded; finding his mother and younger brother; returning to Pinsk; receiving many medals for his military and partisan service; meeting a childhood friend in Minsk; traveling to Warsaw; appointment as a commander of communications; reaching Berlin, Prague, then Karlovy Vary; meeting those returning from concentration camps; returning to Leningrad; living with his mother and brother; attending university; marriage to a physician in 1948; teaching in Hrodna; encountering individual and government anitsemitism; the birth of two children; returning to Leningrad to be near his family; and emigration to Israel in 1990. Mr. S. notes many relatives who were killed in the war; many who left the Soviet Union; and pride as an Israeli.

S., Vladimir, 1916-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
Interview Date
February 16, April 16, April 19, May 2, and June 1, 1995.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Vladimir S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3743). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.