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Yelena M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3788) interviewed by Taube Ruskin and Dina Altshuler,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3788

Videotape testimony of Yelena M., who was born in approximately 1934, the younger of two sisters. She recounts growing up in Odesa; their relative affluence; a close extended family; war beginning on June 22, 1941; her father's mobilization; hiding in catacombs; her father's return; arrival of Axis troops in the fall; her father hiding; her mother being beaten and her uncle being shot to death in front of her; her mother obtaining false papers; being denounced by a neighbor; her mother bribing a guard for their release; fleeing by train; ghettoization in Chechelʹnik, still posing as non-Jews; being told by her parents to pose as a mute; starvation and overcrowding; her father's death; Ukrainians bringing them food, without which they would not have survived; molding toys from clay and sharing them with other children; escaping to a village; locals giving them food, clothing, and better identity papers; her mother working in a hospital; liberation by Soviet troops; returning home; learning most of their family had been killed; reunion with an uncle; difficulty recovering their apartment; pervasive antisemitism; concealing her experiences; studying art; her mother's death in 1956; her sister's early death; and her emigration to Israel. Ms. M. notes the importance of her mother's skills and strength to their survival, as well as assistance from non-Jews. She discusses fears, lack of confidence, and physical maladies resulting from her experiences. She shows photographs.

M., Yelena, 1934?-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
Interview Date
July 14 and November 2, 1995.
Odesa (Ukraine)
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Yelena M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3788). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-06-04 13:28:00
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