Israel B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3785)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
- Interview Date
- March 31, June 9, July 7, September 15, and November 3, 1995.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Israel B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3785). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Israel B., who was born in Łódź, Poland in 1925, the first of two children. He recalls participating in Hashomer Hatzair; his father's death in 1936; his uncles paying for him to attend a Jewish Gymnasium; finding ways to help support his family, including singing in the main synagogue choir; summer vacations with his grandmother in Malech; German invasion in 1939; anti-Jewish restrictions; his mother removing his star and sending him to her brothers in Warsaw, hoping he would survive; learning they had left; joining his grandmother and other relatives in Soviet-occupied Malech; attending a Soviet school; receiving letters from his mother describing their suffering; sending her food packages; participating in communist youth activities; German invasion in 1941; escaping a round-up in October; hiding with assistance from non-Jews; joining his relatives in Bi︠a︡roza; ghettoization; slave labor for Organization Todt; building a hiding place with others; and remaining there for eight days during a mass killing.
Mr. R. recounts escaping to the Pruz︠h︡any ghetto; staying with relatives; forced labor in a German military kitchen; smuggling weapons into the ghetto; learning of a round-up; escaping to the forest; joining a Soviet partisan unit; ambushing Germans, blowing up trains and train tracks, and killing local collaborators; assisting Jews in family camps; liberation by Soviets in July 1944; enlisting in the Soviet military; participating in many battles, including liberation of Berlin in May 1945; he and his unit killing Germans in revenge for murdered relatives; expressing disapproval of Soviet soldiers who raped women resulting in accusations of being a traitor; a sentence of ten years; imprisonment in several locations; working in gold mines; release in 1952; living in Baranavichy; marriage; living in several locations; obtaining permission to return to Łódź; adding his mother's and brother's names to his father's tombstone; emigration to Israel in 1957; and working on a Holocaust memorial in Minsk for those killed in mass murders including his relatives from Malech.