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Rachel Z. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3834)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3834

Videotape testimony of Rachel Z., who was born in Zamość, Poland in 1931, one of three children. She recounts attending first grade in a Polish school; German invasion; briefly fleeing with her family to a nearby village; returning home; ghettoization; moving to an aunt's home in Szcelatyn; a round-up to Grabowiec; the family being chosen for farm work by a German farmer who knew them; her parents paying a farmer to hide her and her younger brother; overhearing that all the Jews had been killed; the farmer telling them he was taking them to their parents; jumping from the horse carriage en route (her brother didn't jump); seeking her parents in Hrubieszów; a volksdeutsch who was a family friend briefly hiding her; staying with a group of Jews working in a mill; discovering four Jewish boys hiding in a barn; staying with them; smuggling themselves into a work camp; leaving by herself when the camp was liquidated; a Polish woman obtaining a Polish birth certificate for her; living with villagers; hospitalization in Zamość; living with another Polish family; liberation by Soviet troops; remaining with the family for over a year; deciding “not be Jewish”; conversion; an uncle locating her through the Joint; meeting him in Lublin; being moved to Jordanbad displaced persons camp; returning to Judaism; transfer to Marseille in 1946; illegal emigration to Palestine by ship; interdiction by the British; incarceration on Cyprus for seven months; transfer to a kibbutz; defending it during the Arab-Israeli war; marriage in 1952; and the births of three sons. Ms. Z. mentions sharing her story with her children; visiting Zamość; and guilt over leaving her brother.

Z., Rachel, 1931-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996
Interview Date
July 25, 1996.
Zamość (Poland)
Szczelatyn (Poland)
Grabowiec (Poland)
Hrubieszów (Poland)
Lublin (Poland)
Marseille (France)
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Rachel Z. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3834). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.