Yelena M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3788) interviewed by Taube Ruskin and Dina Altshuler
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
- Interview Date
- July 14 and November 2, 1995.
- 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.
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.