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Uri C. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3815)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3815

Videotape testimony of Uri C., who was born in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1928, one of three children. He recalls annual visits with his younger brother, Daniel C., to his paternal grandparents in Žasliai; attending a Hebrew gymnasium; his father's car accident in 1938 resulting in a one-year hospitalization; his mother assuming responsibility for his business; Soviet occupation; attending a Soviet camp in Palanga in summer 1941; German invasion in June; Lithuanians separating the Jewish children, locking them in a synagogue, and beating them; their parents sending buses three weeks later to return them home; ghettoization in August; their former maid bringing them food and offering to hide Daniel; his mother refusing but entrusting her with their furniture; orders for the entire population to gather in October during which many were selected; observing them walking to the Ninth Fort the next day (they were killed); a privileged job as a messenger for SA Lieutenant Gustav Hermann, head of the German labor office; being approached to assist the ghetto underground; forming a cadre of four; weekly meetings; obtaining stamped work permits for groups escaping to the partisans; his mother's round-up to the Ninth Fort; Lt. Hermann arranging her release; hiding Daniel during the round-up of children; refusing to divulge his location during a severe beating; losing his job as a result; slave labor in a wood shop; the underground ordering him to escape with a group; retreating back to the ghetto after being fired upon; and deportation with his family by cattle car.

Mr. C. describes separation from his mother and sister en route; slave labor in Kaufering; Daniel and his privileged positions in the kitchen; sharing extra food with their father; an order for deportation of children; deciding to remain with his father, in the hope of helping him and thinking Daniel was going to a better place; brutal slave labor building tunnels; believing God had deserted them; a public hanging of escapees; encountering a cousin who died shortly thereafter; his father's transfer (he never saw him again); punishment for taking a potato; reassignment as a messenger due to influence of friends from Kaunas; helping friends; bribing a prisoner doctor to save his best friend; train transfer from Dachau; escaping with three others; liberation by Soviet troops; beating Germans in Schwabhausen for revenge; United States troops stopping them; traveling to Landsberg; U.S. troops assigning them to a German home; humiliating Germans; learning Daniel was in Munich; traveling there with friends; continuing acts of revenge; encountering the Jewish Brigade which organized their trip to Bologna; learning his mother and sister did not survive; reunion with Daniel; living in Fiesole for seven months, preparing for emigration to Palestine; communication from relatives in the United States; moving to Modena; departure for Palestine with Daniel from Tradate in June 1946; living on a Youth Aliyah kibbutz; and participating in the Arab-Israel War. Mr. C. discusses the importance of luck and circumstances to survival; native Israelis' contempt for survivors; Daniel's reluctance to discuss their experiences until about ten years ago; emotional visits to camps, Lithuania, and their maid's daughter; and heightened emotions as the years pass. He names many with whom he was involved and shows photographs.

C., Uri, 1928-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995 and 1996
Interview Date
December 7 and 22, 1995 and March 14, 1996.
Kaunas (Lithuania)
Žasliai (Lithuania)
Palanga (Lithuania)
Schwabhausen (Thuringia, Germany)
Landsberg am Lech (Germany)
Munich (Germany)
Bologna (Italy)
Fiesole (Italy)
Modena (Italy)
Tradate (Italy)
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Uri C. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3815). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2019-11-18 16:25:00
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